Immigration Laws in the U.S

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    Immigration Law

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Every country has a set of immigration laws which governs the influx of foreigners into their country whether based on temporal or permanent residency and USA is not left out. The immigration laws in the U.S has been strengthened special thanks to the President’s Trump administration, America now boasts of very stiff laws and new laws are being added on daily basis and new policies formulated.

Recently the House has approved a bill to stiffen punishments for immigrants who re-enter the United States illegally. The bill is second of two immigration measures the House passed Thursday as it moves to crack down on illegal immigration, a key priority for President Donald Trump. A separate measure would strip federal dollars from sanctuary cities that shied residents from federal immigration authorities.

The bill which was passed recently imposes harsher prison sentences on deportees who re-enter the United States is known as ‘Kate’s Law.’ Which is named after Kathrvn Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Francisco in 2015 by a man who was in the country illegally.

U.S immigration laws are very complex and there is much ambiguity as to how it really works. The immigration and Naturalization Act(INA), the body of law governing current immigration policy, provides for an annual worldwide limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants. Lawful permanent residency allows a foreign national to work and live lawfully and permanent in the United States. Lawful permanent residents(LPRs) are eligible to apply for nearly all jobs (i.e jobs not legitimately restricted to U.S citizens) and can remain in the country even if they are unemployed. Each year the United States also admits non-citizens on temporary basis. Annually, congress and the President determine a separate number for refugee admissions.

Immigration to the United States is based upon the following principles: the reunification of families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable to the U.S economy, protecting refugees, and promoting diversity. These immigration laws include but not limited to the following

  • Employment Based Immigration: This law covers immigrants with valuable skills who come into the country on either a permanent or temporary basis. These includes laws guiding their duration of stay, the type of work reserved for them, whether they permit workers to bring dependents and other factors.
  • Family-Based Immigration: This law is an important principle governing immigration policy. The family-based immigration category allows U.S citizens and LPRS to bring certain family members to the United states. Family based immigrants are admitted as immediate relatives of U.S citizens or through the family preference system.
  • Per-Country Ceilings: This law places numerical upon various immigration preferences, the INA also places a limit on how many immigrants can come to the United States from any one country. Currently, no group of permanent immigrants (family-based and employment-based) from a single country can exceed seven percent of the total amount of people immigrating to the United States in a fiscal year.
  • Citizenship: According to American immigration council, in order to qualify for U.S citizenship through naturalization, an individual must have had LPR status (a green card) for at least five years (or at least five years (or three years if he or she obtained the green card through a U.S – citizen spouse or through the Violence Against Women Act, VAWA). There are other exceptions on this including, but not limited to, members of the U.S military who serve in time of war or declared hostilities. Applicants for U.S citizens must be at least 18-years-old, demonstrate continuous residency, demonstrate ‘good moral character,’ pass English and the U.S history and civics exams (with certain exceptions), and pay an application fee, among other requirements.


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