You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and move out of your comfort zone. You’re looking for an international job that will take you overseas, or maybe you’ve yet to decide where you’ll call home in the world. Whatever your current status is, it’s important to know about immigration law and how it can impact your life.
There are many types of immigration law, and it can be confusing to navigate. But first, let’s start with the basics: Why are Visas Important?
Why Do You Need Visas?
Visas are important because they allow you to enter the United States for a specific purpose. For example, if you have a student visa, you can only enter the United States to attend school. If you have a work visa, you can only enter the United States to work.
There are two types of visas: immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas. Immigrant visas allow you to live and work in the United States permanently. Nonimmigrant visas allow you to live and work in the United States temporarily.
If you’re an immigrant residing illegally in the United States, you may be detained and deported by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You have to pay an immigration bond to the ICE if you want to be released from detention. The immigration bond is a refundable deposit that ensures that you will appear for your scheduled immigration proceedings.
But how to pay an immigration bond? An immigration bond is paid to the ICE by a surety company that the Department of Treasury licenses. The surety company will charge you a fee for this service. The fees charged by different companies vary, so it’s important to shop around and compare rates before you choose a company.
Now that you know the basics of visas and how they work let’s take a look at the different types of immigration law.
Quick Overview of the Different Types of Immigration Law
1. Employment-Based Immigration
Employment-based immigration is one of the most common ways to obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States. To qualify for employment-based immigration, you must have a job offer from a U.S. employer. There are five categories of employment-based immigration:
- EB-1 immigrants are those with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, or business; outstanding professors and researchers; or certain executives and managers of multinational companies.
- EB-2 immigrants are those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.
- EB-3 immigrants are skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.
- EB-4 immigrants are religious workers, broadcasters, and certain employees of the U.S. government.
- EB-5 immigrants are investors who create jobs for American workers.
2. Family-Based Immigration
Family-based immigration is another common way to obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States. To qualify for family-based immigration, you must have a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. If you want to obtain a green card through family-based immigration, you must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
3. Diversity Visa Lottery
The Diversity Visa Lottery is a program that makes 55,000 immigrant visas available each year to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. To be eligible for the Diversity Visa Lottery, you must have been born in a qualifying country and meet other eligibility requirements.
4. Refugee or Asylee Status
If you’re fleeing persecution in your home country due to your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, you may be eligible for refugee or asylee status. To be eligible for refugee status, you must apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the United States. To be eligible for asylee status, you must already be in the United States.
5. Temporary Protected Status
If you’re from a country that has been designated by the USCIS as having conditions that make it unsafe for its citizens to return, you may be eligible for temporary protected status (TPS). TPS is granted to citizens of countries that are experiencing civil conflict, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions.
6. U Nonimmigrant Status
If you’re the victim of certain crimes, you may be eligible for U nonimmigrant status. To be eligible for U nonimmigrant status, you must have been the victim of a crime such as domestic violence, human trafficking, or other crimes.
There are a variety of different types of immigration laws, each with its own set of requirements. If you’re looking to immigrate to the United States, it’s important to understand these laws and how they can impact your life. Our overview of the different types of immigration law should give you a basic understanding of the most common pathways to residency or citizenship.