Immigration Law

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Immigration Policy

U.S. immigration law is quite complicated and can be difficult to understand. The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) is the body of law that governs the current immigration policy in the U.S. It allows approximately 675,000 permanent immigrants into the U.S. annually, with a few exceptions for close family members. Refugee admissions are decided separately by Congress and the President. Historically, immigration policies in the U.S. have been determined based on three principles which include the reunification of families, the admittance of skilled immigrants who are valuable to the U.S. economy, and the protection of refugees.

Listed below are a few questions answered by immigration lawyers on issues relating to immigration policy.

In the case of Cubans entering the United States through Florida, would the wet-foot, dry-foot immigration policy still apply?

Yes, this policy should still apply. Around 16,000 people make it to dry land every year and are eligible for the Cuban Adjustment Act.

My husband and I are getting divorced. He is now marrying a U.S. citizen and, as a result, our kids will get Green Cards. I am a German citizen and we plan to have joint custody of the kids. Is there an immigration policy that will help me migrate to the U.S. along with my kids?

Unfortunately, there is no such policy. All you can do is to wait until your kids become 21 years of age and are U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status to have them sponsor you for an immigrant visa to stay in the U.S.

As per 2012 U.S. immigration policy, if an individual applies for a Green Card through special immigration as a religious worker, can he be denied it because he suffers from Hepatitis B?

Generally speaking, suffering from Hepatitis B does not prevent someone from being allowed to enter the country. Hepatitis B is only listed as being inadmissible if an individual is not protected with a vaccine against it.

Click the link below to view current diseases that make a person inadmissible:

I am a U.S. citizen and my wife is a citizen of Japan. We were married before she entered the country on a visitor’s visa and I filed an I-130 for her that has been approved. She has been here for over two months. Will immigration policy rules let her stay on in the U.S., while I apply for an I-485 to get her permanent resident status, or does she need to go back to Japan?

This is what the policy says:

If a person enters the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and tries to change their status to a permanent one, within 30 days, they would be charged with visa fraud.

If a person enters the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and tries to change their status to a permanent one more than 30 days but less than 60 days after entry, they may be put under extensive questioning and can be charged with visa fraud if ICE or USCIS is not satisfied.

If a person enters the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and tries to make their status permanent more than 60 days after entry, they may not be questioned since it is very difficult to prove that the person did not just change their mind.

Therefore, if your wife is lucky enough to not fall under visa fraud charges, you can file the I-485, G-325A (one for each of you), I-765, I-693 and I-864 so that she can obtain residency without leaving the country.

However, the most sensible way to ensure she doesn’t fall under visa fraud is for her to leave the country on time. She could continue the process in Japan and this might take about six months to a year. Your chances would have been stronger if you had waited out the 60 day period before filing the I-130 and of course, the ideal situation would have been if you had not been married when she entered the country.

Immigration policy also helps people gain Temporary Protected Status in the United States when they can’t return to their home country due to “natural disaster, “ongoing armed conflict” or “extraordinary temporary conditions. Certain people are even allowed to enter the country through parole, even if they don’t fit the qualifications for a refugee and are temporarily allowed in for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. In addition, the immigration policy also helps immigrants from countries with low immigration to the United States to enter through a diversity visa lottery held every year.

Immigration policy is complicated and currently undergoing many changes, so it may be useful to ask an immigration lawyer to clarify any doubts.

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