Basics of US Immigration Laws

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Written By AndrewPerry

Founded in 2015 by a group of passionate legal professionals and enthusiasts, FlowingLaw started as a small blog. Today, it's a thriving community where ideas, expertise, and legal advice flow freely.





US immigration laws have been set up to protect the United States from people who want to come into the country illegally for their own benefits. There are people who want to take advantage of the benefits and lifestyle many enjoy in the United States and are willing to do anything and everything to get into the country. That’s why US immigration laws were set up. They’re supposed to make it possible for individuals who legitimately want to move to the United States to do so, and they’re supposed to make it more difficult for those will negative, ulterior motives to get into the country.

Generally a person who is not an American citizen but wants to enter the US needs to get a visa. This is according to US immigration laws set up to protect the country. The visa is a special document that’s placed inside a passport. A passport can be considered to be a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

The United States has relationships with certain countries so that according to US immigration laws visitors from those countries aren’t required to get a visa. If they meet the requirements for visa-free travel, some of these individuals may travel through the United States without a visa. American visas are not for US citizens. It may become necessary for an American citizen to get a visa if they’re traveling abroad. Make sure you find out the visa requirements of the country you plan to travel to so that you can make sure you meet the criteria and follow the laws.

According the US immigration laws, non US citizens are required to use a visa to enter the United States. Basically, the visa is a special piece of paper that shows that the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection have allowed you to travel to a port of entry, land border crossing or airport. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for all immigration matters and they’re the ones who ultimately determine whether or not a person will receive a visa to enter America.
There are two main types of visa as defined by US immigration laws. These are the ones that relate to the purpose of travel. There are immigrant visas and non immigrant visas. Immigrant visas are meant for people who travel to permanently live in the United States. Non immigrant visas are designed for those individuals who are temporarily traveling in or through the United States.

Non immigrant visas, according to the US immigration laws, have a variety of categories that range in anything from athletes to business members to crew leaders to religious workers or students. The type of visa you need depends on regulations set out by US immigration laws.

Immigrant visas are for those who plan to live in the United States permanently or for an extended period of time. The application needs to meet approval with the National Visa Center before processing.