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What are U.S. immigration laws?

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Quick Answer

Immigration laws establish a visa system for individuals from other countries who wish to enter the United States for a limited period of time, according to HG.org. Additionally, these laws establish the criteria and process for becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, explains the American Immigration Council.

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Full Answer

U.S. immigration laws establish two types of visas. The government issues immigration visas to individuals who wish to live and work in the United States and nonimmigrant visas to tourists, students and business people who wish to stay temporarily, notes HG.org. Immigration laws also establish a visa waiver program for citizens of economically and politically stable countries who wish to vacation in the United States. As of 2015, the government permits citizens of 37 different countries to visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa.

The government grants immigration status for a variety of reasons, according to FindLaw. The two most common reasons are family unification and employment. The government also grants immigration status to individuals who make a capital investment in the United States. In addition, immigration laws provide refugee status to individuals from other countries who have suffered persecution based on race, religion, nationality or political viewpoint.

Immigration laws also establish the qualifications and process for becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, explains the American Immigration Council. Individuals seeking citizenship must be at least 18 years old, demonstrate continuous residency and demonstrate good moral character. The citizenship process includes passing English, civics and history exams.

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