Questions About Citizenship? Talk to an Immigration Lawyer Near You.
U.S. immigration law is based on the following four principles:
- Reunification of families
- Admitting immigrants with skills valuable to the U.S. economy
- Protecting refugees
- Promoting diversity
It’s important to talk with an immigration lawyer near you to get the surrounding details to ensure you become a lawful resident of the United States.
The Immigration and Nationality Act Governs Immigration Law
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the United States to grant up to 675,000 permanent immigrant visas each year across various visa categories. The INA sets no limit on the annual admission of U.S. citizens’ spouses, parents, and children under the age of 21. In addition, each year the President consults with Congress to establish the annual number of refugees to be admitted to the United States through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
A person becomes a lawful permanent resident (LPR) after obtaining an immigration visa and entry into the United States. In some circumstances, noncitizens already inside the United States obtain LPR status through “adjustment of status.”
LPRs can apply for mostly all jobs (i.e., jobs not legitimately restricted to U.S. citizens) and remain in the country permanently, even when unemployed. After residing in the United States for five years (or three years in some circumstances), LPRs can apply for U.S. citizenship. An immigrant cannot apply for citizenship without first becoming an LPR.
An immigration lawyer from a local immigration law office can assist in complying with all regulations.
The Numbers Governing Immigration Law
As mentioned, the INA allows up to 675,000 immigrants each year. An immigration lawyer can help you wade through the numbers to determine your opportunity for entering the country.
Here’s how those numbers breakout:
To balance the number of immigrants arriving of family relationships, Congress established a complex formula. The formula starts with 480,000 representing the maximum number allocated for family-based immigrants.
Next, it subtracts the number of immediate relative visas from the previous year and the number of aliens paroled into the U.S. Unused employment preference numbers get added to establish the number of visas available through the family preference system.
That number, however, cannot be lower than 226,000. Because the number of immediate relatives often exceeds 250,000 in a given year, it triggers the 226,000 minimum for preference visas. As a result, the total number of family-based visas often exceeds 480,000.
Employment-based immigration falls into two categories – temporary visa classifications and permanent immigration.
The former permits employers to hire and petition for immigrants for specific jobs covering a limited timeframe. More than 20 types of visas apply to this category.
The latter limits permanent employment to 140,000 annually. That number includes eligible spouses and minor unmarried children. Consequently, the actual number of employment-based immigrants is less than 140,000.
The INA limits the number of immigrants from a single country to seven percent during a year. That number seeks to eliminate any one country from dominating immigration flows.
Refugees and Asylees
The Trump administration set the ceiling for 2021 to 15,000. The Biden administration increased it to 62,500. Refugee admissions attempt to eliminate concerns about individuals returning to their country where they might face persecution owing to race, social group membership, political opinion, religion, or nationality.
Diversity Visa Program
Each year, 55,000 visas are allocated randomly. The program uses a computer-generated lottery that allows nationals from countries that have sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the course of the last five years.
How Our Immigration Law Offices Can Help
Our immigration law offices have you covered when it comes to immigration law. If you’re facing concerns or issues about immigration, make sure you reach out to one of our immigration lawyers near you serving Bucks and Montgomery counties.
In addition to questions you might have about immigration law in general, we can also support you with these specific areas:
Green Card: Having a green card lets you live and work permanently in the United States. Our immigration lawyers can help you with your eligibility, application, green card replacement, and more.
Visa: If you’re looking to enter the United States, you must first obtain a visa that’s placed in your traveler’s passport. U.S. immigration law defines the type of visa you needs. Our law office can help.
DACA: DACA, or Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protects approximately 800,000 young people (DREAMers) entering the country unlawfully as children. Although you are not granted official legal status, the Dream Act does allow you to apply for a driver’s license, social security number, and work permit.
Citizenship: Our immigration lawyers can help you navigate your path to U.S. citizenship including how to apply, understanding test questions, and the naturalization process.
Naturalization: Naturalization grants lawful permanent residence to the United States following fulfillment of requirement established by Congress. Our immigration law offices and attorneys can assist you those requirements including residence after five years, marriage to a U.S. citizen, military service, and being a child of a U.S. citizen.
Give Our Immigration Law Office a Call
Immigration law can be complex and daunting. Don’t feel like you have to undergo any process without appropriate legal support. Talk to one of our immigration lawyers near you in the Doylestown and Norristown areas. We can give you appropriate counsel to ensure you understand and fulfill any obligations.
Jeśli szukasz polskojęzycznego prawnika, który może pomóc Ci w Twojej sytuacji prawnej, rozważ skontaktowanie się z adwokatem imigracyjnym High Swartz, Renatą Pabisz. Renata sama emigrując z Polski rozumie proces imigracyjny i może skierować Cię do adwokata, który może pomóc w każdej sytuacji prawnej. Skontaktuj się z polskim prawnikiem w Filadelfii.