Immigration Laws In The USA and How It Works

Immigration laws

The laws concerning immigration in the USA can get pretty confusing. The body that currently governs immigration policies is The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). Annually, the INA provides an annual limit of 670,000 permanent immigrants where close family members are an exception. A permanent residency that is lawful enables foreign nationals to work as well as live permanently in the US.

These citizens can apply for almost all jobs, and in times of unemployment, they can still stay in the country. Noncitizens, although on a temporary basis, are admitted to the US every year, and this is determined by the Congress with the help of the

President annually.

The principles according to which immigration takes place include family reunification, admission of individuals that possess skills which can be valuable to the economy of the US, promotion of diversity, and refugee protection.

1.     Immigration based on families

A policy that is essential in the governing principles of the immigration is family unification as this allows US citizens as well as lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to bring families to the country. Immigrants of this kind are either admitted through the family preference system or as immediate relatives.

Immigrants that wish to come under the immediate relatives’ category is required to meet all the eligibility criterions whereas the petitioners are required to meet a set age and financial requirement. Spouses, unmarried minor, or parents of the US citizen come under the immediate relative’s category.

Immigrants that wish to come under the family preference system, apart from the eligibility criterions of both petitioner and prospective immigrants, include adult children, brothers, sisters of US citizens and spouses, unmarried children of LPRs.

2.     Immigration based on employment

Immigrants with skills that could be used to contribute to the US economy come in either permanently or temporarily.

In a temporary employment visa, foreign nationals are hired by employers who are permitted to hire as well as petition for them. In this case, the employees have very little room when it comes to changing jobs, and they may only be there for a small period of time. Temporary non-immigrant worker visas are of more than 20 types. The eligibility requirements and duration vary with each visa classification.


There are 140,000 immigrants that come with on a permanent-employment basis; spouses and minor unmarried children included.

3.     Immigrants per country

The number of immigrants that are allowed from each country is also controlled by the INA. No more than 7% of the total amount of people immigrating to the US from a single group is allowed as of now.