Understanding legal and illegal immigration to the United States

People from throughout the world go to the United States in record numbers in quest of a better life. 

Every foreign individual entering the country is legally obliged to have a visa, which must be obtained through the Department of State of the United States. A person is breaching the law if they enter the country without the proper documentation or if they remain after their visa has expired.

Types of visas issued

Visas are issued by the American government in two categories: immigrant and non-immigrant. People with immigration visas often receive their green cards and become resident aliens or lawful permanent residents.

Most immigrants eventually gain American citizenship. Non-immigrant visas are granted to travelers and students who will return to their country of origin when their trip or academic program is over.

What is the Immigration and Nationality Act?

A person who is not a U.S. citizen or national is considered an alien, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

In other words, a person who is born abroad to parents who are not citizens of the United States is considered an alien.

Illegal immigrants are not recognized by the law in the United States. Illegal immigrants are prohibited from participating in federally supported programs, voting, receiving social security payments, and holding U.S. passports, among other things.

Both legal immigrants and those who enter the nation illegally may be detained and deported at any moment if they commit and are found guilty of a crime. However, in many instances, those who entered the nation illegally are not imprisoned or expelled from the United States unless they have committed a crime and been found guilty. 

Becoming a naturalized citizen

Naturalization is the process of acquiring full citizenship privileges in the United States. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service (BCIS), which is in charge of this, offers immigrants many options for naturalization.

The most typical strategy employed by those with immigrant visas is to acquire lawful permanent resident status by staying in the nation for five years.

A lawful foreigner may not leave the country for more than six months at a time during this time. He or she must be physically present in the nation for a minimum of two and a half years, or at least six months every year.

Through marriage to a citizen of the United States, it is possible to get permanent residency and afterwards naturalization. If the couple has been married for at least three years and the spouse is still a citizen of the United States, the naturalization process in this situation is cut from five to three years.

Being at least 18 years old, having excellent moral character, and having rudimentary reading and writing abilities are additional requirements for naturalization and citizenship.

Although there are certain age-related exceptions to the latter two, prospective citizens are expected to comprehend US government and history.

Following the application and interview phases, the BCIS will grant or deny citizenship. The case will go on if the BCIS requires more details before making a judgment. Those who have had their citizenship rejected may appeal.

This nation’s strength stems from its immigrant population. One aspect of the American immigrant has evolved throughout time and will continue to do so: you can enter as long as you have the necessary documentation and can abide by the State Department’s regulations.