Immigration is an act of moving to a country to work or live there permanently, although the same can be done temporarily. There are specific reasons why the United States government allows immigrants to enter and in different ways. Immigration laws in the United States are based upon some specific principles. These are admitting skilled immigrants for purposes of the State’s economy, the reunification of family members, and as a way of promoting diversity.
Immigration is governed by a policy known as The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The policy allows immigrants to be issued visas every year and has also not set any limit for parents, spouses, and individuals below 21 whose family member resides in the United States. When you obtain an immigration visa, it means that you lawfully become a permanent resident in the United States. Therefore, you can reside and work there without any issues arising. If you have lived continuously in the United States for five years, you can apply for citizenship. The process of applying for citizenship goes the usual way without even becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
If you want to enter the United States but experience some difficulties obtaining the necessary services while in California, do not take it up on your own because our attorneys at the California Immigration Attorney are at your service. We are experienced in navigating immigration laws and will help if you are looking for an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.
Reasons Why People Become Immigrants
Many reasons will make you decide to enter the United States to reside here. The reasons range from employment to family-based immigration. The types of immigration that are common in the United States include:
Family unification is an essential principle that governs immigration policy. The category of family-based immigration your family member, as a United States citizen, to bring you and other members of your family to the United States. You will be admitted through the preference system or as immediate relatives of the citizens. For your family member to bring you to the United States, they must have attained a certain age, and they should meet the financial requirements to care for the family members. As an immigrant, you must also meet the eligibility criteria set. You are considered an immediate relative if:
- You are a spouse of a U.S citizen
- You are one of the children of a U.S citizen, and you are unmarried
- You are a parent of a citizen
There are usually a few visas available every year for family-based immigrants. Only those who meet the criteria set do get the visas. There are, though, some people who are given preference when it comes to family-based immigration. They are unmarried adults who are your brothers or sisters and your spouse.
Since the number of families who want to visit their relatives in the U.S keeps rising every day, a complicated system is used to calculate the available number of visas and the people to be given preference each year. To be admitted to the family-based immigration, your family members who are U.S citizens must prove your relationship with you. They must sign an affidavit to show that they meet the financial requirement to take good care of you and meet the requirements set for you and other family members to be admitted.
As an immigrant, you must meet some specific requirements where you are supposed to submit a medical exam and proof to show that you obtained the necessary vaccine. You must also provide an analysis of our criminal history, if any, and should also show that you will not depend on the United States government to survive.
People with valuable skills have various ways of entering the United States on a temporary or permanent basis.
There are many types of visas available for immigrants moving to the United States for employment purposes temporarily. The visas do vary depending on your employment duration if you want to bring your family with you for the time that you will be working in the United States and the eligibility requirements. If you have a valuable skill, you can be admitted as an immigrant in the United States for a specific period. The period of stay will depend on the length of your contract. When admitted temporarily for employment purposes, you have some limitations in that you cannot keep changing jobs as you would like.
Once your status expires or your employment has been terminated, you have to leave the United States. There are exceptional cases where an employer may sponsor your employment permanently. That will only depend on your qualification and the type of job that you are doing. Although it does not always happen that your employer will sponsor you for a permanent job, there are cases where your employer may help you secure a permanent job and even apply for permanent citizenship as you continue working.
There are very low numbers of immigrants who move to the United States to work permanently. The reason being, the number of visas for permanent immigrants, is also limited. Before you move to the United States to work permanently, your employer must file a petition with the USCIS to approve your immigration. If it is approved, you have to apply for a visa, where the adjustment of your status will depend on the number of available visas. There are some eligibility criteria that you must meet if you want to move to the United States permanently for purposes of employment. They are:
- You must be a member of the professionals holding an advanced degree, or you should be a person of exceptional skills in art, science, and business.
- You must be one of the outstanding professionals in research, management, and multinational executives.
If you are an unskilled worker, there are also requirements that you should meet to qualify to get permanent employment. They are:
- You must have more than two years of experience and a professional degree.
- You must be willing to invest in huge amounts of money to create employment for U.S citizens permanently and
- You must be a former U.S employee, a religious worker, or belong to any other class of aliens.
Ceilings per Country
The Immigration and National Act has set limits on immigrants' numbers to get into the United States from different countries. In a single year, the numbers of people who move to the United States as family-based immigrants and for employment do not exceed 7% of the total number of immigrants from the same country. The limit is set to ensure that there are no immigrants from a single country who dominate the immigration pattern.
Asylees and Refugees
You may find yourself in the United States due to life-threatening situations in your country. There is a category of admission for people like you in the United States. Suppose you are a refugee, you will be admitted based on the fact that you cannot return to your homeland due to the fear of persecution, membership to a particular social group, national origin, religion, race, or political opinion. When making an application for admission to the United States, you will do so outside your home country and also before you get into the U.S. The Immigration and National Act will look at different factors affecting you. For example, if you have any family member in the United States to support you, if there are possibilities that you will gain membership to particular social groups in the U.S and the degree of the risks you are facing or you will face by living in the United States.
The number of immigrants who move to the United States as refugees is also limited to avoiding dominance in the immigration system. Therefore, only a certain number of refugees will be admitted to the system every year.
Asylum will only be available to you if you need to be protected from racism, fear of persecution, political opinion, national origin, and religion while already in the United States. You will apply for admission as an Asylees when you are already at the point of entry into the United States or one year of stay in the United States. The number of people who enter the United States as Asylees is not limited, and there is a specific category to be allowed in the United States.
Diversity Visa Program
It is a lottery that was created to admit those people with low rates of immigration. It was created in 1990 by the Immigration act. The visa program is allocated to countries with less than 50000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years. The United States government does so by helping you secure a green card that will enable you to move to the United States.
There are some criteria that you should meet to ensure that you qualify for the diversion visa program. If you want to move to the United States through the Visa Program, you must have completed a high school course or equivalent in the past five years. You must also have worked in a professional field and gained experience for two years. The program has special consideration for children and spouses of the United States citizens. The selection is made through a computer-generated draw where a random selection is done to select those who get the green cards. The visas are usually distributed so that the countries with very few immigrants receive a large number of visas.
Other Forms of Relief for Humanitarians
There are other forms of relief granted to people living in the United States and who entered the U.S in different ways.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — it is a relief that you will be granted if you cannot return to your home country due to some extraordinary conditions such as armed conflicts and natural disasters. You will be granted this relief for 6, 12, or 18 months, depending on your country's situation. If you have been admitted through this type of relief, you cannot apply for citizenship or update your status in any way.
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) — You will be admitted to the Deferred Enforced Departure if your country is unstable. The relief aims to protect you from being deported if the return poses some form of danger to you. The executive authorizes deferred Enforced Departure. Under this type of relief, you cannot apply for United States citizenship and cannot confer any immigration status.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — It's a program that allows those people who entered the United States while they were below the age of 16 to remain and reside there. Under the DACA program, you are allowed to apply for citizenship and to live there lawfully. It is a temporary program, you have to renew your status before it expires. You are also supposed to renew your authorization to work to get protection from deportation.
There are unique instances you can be allowed to get to the United States through parole. That will only happen if you are urgently moving there for humanitarian reasons or any other significant issue that will benefit the public.
For you to qualify for citizenship, you must have a lawful Permanent Residence for a minimum of five years. There are some exemptions for military people who do serve during a time of crisis and hostilities. If you want to apply for citizenship, you must be a person who has demonstrated continuous residency in the United States. You must have moral character, be above 18 years, and pass the civics, English, and history tests with very few exemptions given to you. You will also pay some fees for your application to go through, among other requirements.
Application Process for An Immigration Visa
There are steps that you must follow to obtain an immigration visa. They are:
- Submitting a petition: Lawful Permanent Residence and other U.S citizens must file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if they want you to visit them in the United States family-based immigration. Your family members can file the petition electronically or on paper and then send it through the mail. Your family members can file for a petition when in or out of the United States. Before your case moves to the next stage, it must be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Processing of the visa at the National Visa Center: After the USCIS has approved your application, it is transferred to the Department of State National Visa Center for processing. Your case will be created in the system, and you will be sent a copy through the mail for you to fill.
- Payment of fees for the visa application: There are two different fees you will pay for the visa application to go through; Fee for affidavit support and a fee for processing your immigration visa.
- Completing an affidavit for support of your visa: After the application form is sent online, you and your family members must fill the form to show that they accept your responsibility and that they are going to support you in all ways they need in terms of finance and resources.
- Collecting the financing documents and any other supporting document that is necessary for the visa application.
- Completing an online visa application. You and your family members must fill an online form for Immigration Visa and Alien registration.
- After completing and sending back the application form, your family members should collect the civil documents as additional support for your visa application.
- You should scan all the other necessary documents and files that are needed to complete the application process. For example, you should send your passport-sized photo that will be included in your visa application forms. If there is an important document that has missed your visa application, you should have a detailed explanation of why it is not available.
- You should then prepare for the interview. Before the interview, you must undertake a medical test and have all the documents that will be used during the interview.
- When your interview has been scheduled, make sure not to miss the important session because the process may end up failing. During the interview, ensure that you carry any supporting documents, photographs, and passport and appointment letter. If you know that you will not make it to the interview, you should contact the embassy and inform them as soon as If you fail to contact them, your case will be terminated, your visa canceled, and you will not receive your fees back.
It is also essential that during the interview, that you ask about any documents that you missed and if there is a need to get them later. In that way, there will be no issues arising in your future stay in the United States.
- If your interview goes all well, you will be admitted to the United States and stay with your family members.
Until all the above processes go through, you cannot enter the United States under any circumstances.
Effects of Immigration
In any changing economy, immigration is essential. Immigration should be assessing whether it is beneficial to the country or not because there are many impacts caused by the immigrants. The effects are usually dependent on the characteristics and volume of the immigrants. The reason being, some lawfully entered the United States while others did not follow the right procedure and may even not have the documents to show their status in the United States. There are a lot of impacts caused by immigrants in the United States. Immigration has positively impacted demographic issues, the economy, and fiscal and policy issues, while immigrants have some negative impacts. A good example is when you use the U.S resources and services without paying tax for them when you illegally bring people to the United States without proper documentation and overpopulating the country. The significant impacts of immigration are:
As the number of immigrants goes up in the United States, there are effects on demography. The number of immigrants in the United States counts for a reasonable percentage of the total population. Immigrants are usually from different countries and places in the world. The number of immigrants in the United States has made its population go on the rise.
There is an educational gap between the natives and the immigrants in the United States. The level of education in California is a bit low, and hence the few jobs available. The education gap has led many immigrants to move to the United States to look for employment. Some move to the U.S to start businesses and invest, as they provide jobs even to the less skilled people. United States employment growth is associated with many immigrants providing job opportunities for the natives, contributing to economic growth. Due to the high number of immigrants with skills, there is an effect on those who are not skilled.
There are a few negative impacts of immigrants to the United States. Some immigrants depend on the U.S resources for survival purposes; others use the countries resources and services and do not pay taxes. That negatively affects the United States in terms of the economy.
There are fiscal effects caused by immigrants in that the United States government doesn’t know how to estimate the native tax revenue and that of the immigrants from the existing survey and administrative data. The State also disagrees on whether to count the services used by the minors of the immigrants. They do not equal the expenditure of the State. Therefore, immigrants often burden the State, especially if they moved to the country as non-skilled workers and as minors.
Contact An California Immigration Attorney Near Me
If you are experiencing challenges to obtain citizenship, a green card, or another benefit from immigration in California, contact an attorney specializing in handling immigration laws. We at the California Immigration Attorney are here to help you with all immigration issues. Contact us at 424-789-8809 today.