Lawyers Association Provides Critical Information to Detained Immigrants, Families (Monday 22 September 2008)
The American Immigration Lawyers Association faces a challenge after Congress rejected an immigration-reform bill last year. Immigration laws are enforced more strictly while record numbers of undocumented immigrant laborers have been deported.
Information about immigration laws, including permanent visas, temporary visas, citizenship, asylum, immigration enforcement and immigration terms.
Immigration Law Enforcement
Immigration laws are enforced by several agencies, including Citizenship and Immigration Services, the National Visa Center and the State Department.
Learn words and phrases commonly associated with U.S. immigration.
J and Q visas allow foreign nationals to enter the U.S. to exchange artistic, academic and scientific knowledge and skills and share the history and culture of their native countries.
Business Visa & Tourism Visa
B1 and B2 visas are for visitors to the U.S. who are entering for a temporary business, pleasure (tourism) or medical-treatment purpose. Residents of certain countries may enter the U.S. for these purposes without a visa for no more than 90 days.
Temporary Visa Categories
Temporary visas are categorized as either employment (seasonal employee, specialty occupation, religious worker, etc.) or non-employment (tourism, student and foreign exchange).
The U.S. issues temporary visas by category (business, tourism, student, etc.) for admission to the country for only a certain amount of time. Citizens of specifc countries may enter the U.S. temporarily without a visa.
Nonimmigrant students may study in the U.S. under an F visa for academic students, an M visa for vocational students or a J visa for foreign-exchange students. These students generally may not accept employment while in the U.S. on a student visa.
Diversity Visa Lottery
The U.S. government receives millions of visa applications each year for a chance at the lottery process used to select individuals who are given the chance to apply for the limited diversity visas for permanent residence each year.
Foreign nationals who wish to stay in the U.S. permanently can be sponsored through an employer or on the merit of their own background.
Citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. may petition the federal government for an immigrant visa for certain family members.
Investor and Company Transfer Visas
International investors and business owners may apply for a visa to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis.
Foreign nationals who wish to stay in the U.S. on a permanent basis can become lawful permanent residents via a family or employer sponsorship, an investment that creates jobs for Americans, or the Diversity Visa Lottery.
Changing Green Card Immigration Status
An undocumented immigrant, whether the person entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed his or her visa admission, may apply for permanent residency without leaving the U.S. if he or she is the immediate relative of a citizen or applies under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
United States Naturalization Process
The law requires that every candidate for citizenship undergo an interview and a test with an immigration officer.
United States Citizenship
United States citizenship for an immigrant begins with an application, continues with an interview and exam, and ends with an oath, at which time he or she enjoys the freedoms and rights held since birth by other Americans.
United States Citizenship Requirements
A permanent resident may apply for U.S. citizenship after living in the country continuously for a specific period of time.
United States Asylum
Asylum is the status the U.S. grants to aliens who, after coming here, ask the country for refuge from the persecution they have suffered or fear of persecution in the country they left.
United States Immigration Laws
Information about predominant U.S. immigration laws.
Visas for Victims of Domestic Violence
The Violence Against Women Act allows victims of domestic violence to become permanent U.S. residents without the sponsorship of their abusive U.S. citizen or permanent-resident family member.
Unlawful Presence & Waiver of Inadmissibility
A non-U.S. citizen who comes to or stay in the country illegally and then leaves for a certain period of time may be barred from returning.
Immigration Visa Categories
Information about the categories of U.S. visas.
Immigration law research materials including links to websites, blogs, associations and agencies, journals, news and research guides.