Thursday, June 11, 2015

Understanding Immigration Laws

Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas of law in the United States. Applying for a visa or citizenship is a complicated processes, as is fighting deportation or removal. Trying to navigate the system can be extremely frustrating. Here is a list of some of the main types of immigration in the United States

Family-Based Immigration
One common type of immigration is family-based immigration. This occurs when one family member already lives in the United States lawfully, and another family member uses his or her relationship as a basis for immigrating to the U.S. There are two different types of immigration that are considered family-based:

  • Immigration of immediate relatives: There is no numerical limit on how many relatives are allowed to immigrate under these provisions. These laws cover the spouses, unmarried minor children, and parents of U.S. citizens. In order for a parent to apply, the citizen must be at least 21 years old.
  • Immigration by family preference: The number of family members admitted under these laws is limited to a little under half a million people per year. There is an extremely complicated weighting system that determines which applicants are allowed to immigrate. Family members who can apply under this system include adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs). For a sibling to be considered, the citizen must be at least 21 years old. 
Employment-Based Immigration
The United States allows people with certain valuable skills to immigrate either temporarily or permanently to the United States. Permanent employment-based immigration allows 140,000 people per year to come the United States. That number is broken up into various subcategories. As for temporary workers, there are more than twenty different types of visas depending on what sort of work a person will be doing here and what the duration of that work is.

Refugees and Asylum-Seekers
Refugees and asylees make up a portion of those who immigrate to the United States. These people are typically fleeing persecution in their home countries or are unable to return to their homeland due to some sort of extraordinary or life-threatening condition. Each of these programs has strict requirements depending on an individual’s situation.

United States Citizenship
In order for a person to become a United States citizen, he or she must have had his or her green card for at least five years. Under certain limited circumstances, this can be decreased to three years for certain applicants. A naturalization applicant must also be at least 18 years old, be able to demonstrate continuous residency, prove his or her good moral character, pass citizenship exams, and pay application fees in addition to other possible requirements. There are special rules that apply to members of the U.S. military who are seeking citizenship.

If you have questions or concerns about your rights under the immigration laws of the United States, you should contact an experienced Las Vegas immigration attorney as soon as possible. Get in touch with the immigration team at De Castroverde Law Group today to discuss your situation and how the laws may apply to you.