Immigration law is almost exclusively a federal issue, though some states do attempt to impose their own immigration restrictions. Immigration law is comprised of a set of federal codes, administrative procedures, and international treaties. These codes and procedures govern all aspects of how and when a person may enter the United States. Once a person is in the United States, immigration laws also set out how and when a person may apply for citizenship.
Immigration law sets out when and why a person may enter the United States. A person may not enter the United States without permission. The process of receiving that permission usually starts with applying for a visa. The type of visa a person will be granted depends on the purpose of his entry. Most visas are related to work, education, and tourism. These types of visas tend to be limited in duration and purpose, allowing a person entry for a set time and only for purposes of engaging in the activities listed in his particular visa. For example, a tourist visa does not allow its holder to work in the United States. Additionally, a person may only stay as long as permitted by his visa. Staying beyond the noted time frame can result in involuntarily removal from the U.S and a classification of out-of-status, meaning that the person is illegally in the country. It is important to note that this status will prevent a person from obtaining either permanent residency or citizenship.
Immigration law also sets out rules for how a person can become a permanent resident or citizen. The two classifications have different legal effects and procedures. Failure to comply with the application requirements of either can result in a denial of a person’s application. Regardless of the type of residency a person is seeking, one of the most important things is to stay in-status. Once a person falls out-of-status, he is considered to be within the U.S. illegally and deportation proceedings can be commenced against him. If this happens, immigration laws determine whether or not a person will be allowed to remain in the country or will be deported.
Immigration law also provides protection – via asylum or refugee status – for people subject to persecution in their home countries. Essentially, asylum and refugee status involve a request to enter or remain in the U.S. in order to avoid a certain danger in a person’s native country. If a person is granted asylum or refugee status, he is permitted to remain in the U.S. until the risk of persecution in his home country has ended.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (a division of Homeland Security and successor agency to the now-defunct INS) offers many helpful online guides for people with immigration questions. Even though immigration procedures seem fairly straightforward, a person should still consult with an immigration attorney before filing a request or application. Because immigration law is administrative in nature, failure to comply with any deadline, application requirement, or filing fee can result in a denial of a person’s application and a classification of out-of-status that will be devastating to any future requests. An immigration attorney is well equipped to guide a person through the administrative maze of immigration law.
With our office in New York and New Jersey, we provide state-of-the-art approaches to individual and corporate immigration needs for clients throughout the United States and abroad. Our comprehensive immigration services include:
We have extensive experience advising business professionals and employers regarding various employment-based visas, counseling clients through labor certification (PERM), and proactively assisting businesses with immigration compliance and enforcement. Some of the business or employment-based visas that we regularly handle include H working visas, L working visas, O visas, P Visas and R visas.
For more information, please view our articles:
Our immigration attorneys also assist U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (green card holders) with sponsoring a family member for a temporary or permanent visa. These can include Immediate Relative visas, K visas, and other family-based visas.
In addition, through global connections, we have access to a network of overseas immigration attorneys who provide similar services for U.S. or non-U.S. employees going to work abroad or transferring employment from one country to another.
Contact an experienced immigration law attorney at A Sharma Law Firm, PLLC. Led by a highly experienced immigration lawyer, Anuj Sharma, Esq., our team of immigration and naturalization attorneys can assist you and your family with all of your business and personal immigration needs.