America’s immigration laws are constantly changing. The policies have grown stringent over time due to the increase in numbers of immigrants. Reviewing the policies ensures that immigration does not strain the economy.
Understanding the different immigration policies is the start of your immigration process. Read on to know these 7 surprising facts on immigration laws in America.
Table of Contents
1. Family-Based Immigration
This is the easiest way for one to immigrate to the U.S. Family-based immigration allows individuals to migrate if they already have a close family member in the U.S.
Close family members include a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. These should be U.S. Citizens, or they may have a green card. The children must be minors of U.S citizens. Petitioners for parent’s immigration must be above 21 years of age to file a petition.
The number of immigrants through this policy has increased over the past three years. Family-based immigration or chain immigration accounted for two-thirds of the 1 million immigrants every year.
As of today, there is a standard formula for calculating the number of available family preferences given every year. This helps to balance family-based immigration with other immigration routes.
President Trump stated the most recent highlight of this policy. He proposed that legislation should prioritize family-based immigration.
2. Refugee Admissions
Immigration policies for refugee admissions have grown stringent under Trump’s administration. This is because of the rising security concerns and a strain on the country’s resources.
Attempts to freeze refugee admissions have been the biggest blow to refugee immigration. Reviews on the policy scrutinize immigration for specific countries.
The reviewed policy singled out 11 nations perceived to be high risk. This being so, refugee immigration from these countries follows a case by case basis.
Under the refugee admission policy, there is an asylum policy. This policy demands that one goes through a rigorous interview. The interview is to prove persecution due to race, religion, and political factors. The documentation process and interviews have contributed to a drastic decline in numbers of refugee immigration.
3. Employment-Based Immigration
This immigration policy focuses on acquiring skills for the American Economy. Because of the demand for diverse skills, employment-based immigration rose in 2017.
Efforts to increase employment-based immigration are underway. The employment-based immigration policy restricts immigrant investors. Immigrant investors are those that invest their money in the U.S economy.
As per the reviewed policy, one has to invest $500,000-$1 million for them to qualify as immigrant investors. The investment should also provide full-time employment to at least 10 workers. An immigrant investor gets a temporary stay as they work on their business venture.
4. Diversity Visa
The diversity visa is an immigration program that opens for application every year. The diversity visa program ensures equal representation of immigrants in the U.S.
Particularly, the diversity visa seeks to allow immigrants from developing countries into the U.S. Previously, the visa was awarded to fifty million people globally. The system is based on the luck of the applicants, and millions of people apply.
Recently, the state administration raised concerned over increased rates of immigration. This may lead to a reduction in immigration through a diversity visa.
5. H-1B Visa
This is the U.S’s most extensive temporary employment program. It awarded to highly-skilled foreign workers. So if you have a specialized skill, the H-1B visa is what you should apply for.
In 2017, this visa accounted for 23% of all the temporary visa issued. The H-1B visa policy is keen on academic qualification. Those with a master’s degree have an advantage over applicants with a lower educational qualification.
As well, the H-1B policy plans to restrict work permits for spouses to those that already have the visa. This is aimed at reducing the number of immigrants through the H-1B visa.
6. Temporary Permission
As the name suggests, this is a temporary legal residence in the U.S. No work permit or specified reason to stay for long in the U’S. This policy does not allow one to reside in the U.S permanently.
Temporary permission in the form of work permits allows foreigners to work in the U.S for a short period. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals spells out the regulations for temporary permission. The act protects against deportation to these individuals.
There is also a Temporary Protected Status program. This policy allows temporal residence of immigrants due to natural disaster or war. Immigrants from Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen receive TPS extensions.
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Those from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan will not enjoy the extension. Temporary immigration thus remains very controversial. Controversy on this policy arose in the recent past. The government noted that temporary permission is the loophole for permanent residence.
The terms on the policy are thus reviewed to ensure that no changes are made. If one immigrates on temporary permission, they should abide by the terms of the policy.
7. Permanent Immigration
The policy on permanent immigration covers different categories classified as special. One has to meet the criteria under the respective category they apply for. The first special category is that of persons with extraordinary ability.
Extraordinary abilities that fall in the arts sector, education, science, athletics, and multinational executives are prioritized. A second special category is that of people holding advanced professional degrees.
The policy requires that these applicants demonstrate exceptional abilities besides advanced education. The policy also regulates immigration for skilled workers.
A skilled worker has to prove work experience of no less than two years. With a polished skill and expertise, you stand a better chance of immigrating compared to unskilled individuals.
There is also a special immigrant policy. The policy is limited to Foreign Service posts, former U.S. government employees and religious leaders. The policy on these categories is stringent to ensure immigrants meet the set criteria.
These seven categories summarize the categories under which one can be an immigrant. Age limit, academic qualifications, and level of professional expertise are key factors in the policies. It is important to dissect through each of the immigration laws exhaustively.
As you embark on your immigration petition, take advantage of the less crowded categories. This will increase your chances of qualifying for immigration.
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