When an individual enters into and resides, in the United States carries, they undertake duties and obligations. Procedural laws and requirements are in place that must be followed for anyone wishing to enter into and stay in the United States for any length of time.
Immigration laws are the laws that regulate how an individual residing in another country may qualify for a visa and under what circumstances an individual may be deported from the United States. Many different kinds of temporary and permanent visas are available. Depending on the individual’s purpose for entering the United States, they will be able to find a visa that will fit their circumstances.
Individuals already residing in the United States must abide by immigration laws as well. A large number of individuals who legally reside in the U.S. have a green card, or permanent visa. Many individuals with green cards will seek to become citizens. In order to do so, they must refrain from engaging in any activities that would result in removal or deportation. It is important to take whatever steps possible to legally reside within the U.S.
Immigration law is very complex and is difficult to navigate, especially without legal representation. It is imperative an individual consults with an attorney concerning any immigration issues.
What are Some Immigration Law Topics and Subjects?
There are many common immigration law topics and subjects. One is legal immigration, or when a non-citizen alien is in the United States legally under permanent resident status, also known as a green card holder. A permanent resident alien is an individual who is not a citizen of the U.S. that is living in the U.S. under a recognized and valid immigration visa that grants them permanent status to work and live in the U.S. indefinitely.
Permanent resident status can be granted to certain classes of aliens and is considered a step towards permanent U.S. citizenship. Many green card holders begin with a more temporary visa and have their residency status changed after being in the U.S. for a period of time.
Ways in which an individual may obtain lawful permanent resident status include:
- A Family-based visa;
- An Employment visa;
- A Fiancé or marriage-based visa;
- Asylum and/or Refugee status; and/or
- Other humanitarian programs.
There are requirements that must be met when applying for each of these types of visas and immigration avenues. An individual must also maintain other requirements over time, such as good conduct and, in the case of an employment visa, ongoing employment with the sponsoring company.
If an individual does not wish to stay in the United States permanently, they may also seek a nonimmigrant visa. These are available for individuals coming to the U.S. for a limited amount of time. These are commonly provided to groups such as:
- Business individuals; and/or
How Does an Individual Submit an Immigration Application?
An immigration application is the paperwork and documentation necessary during the immigration process. In many cases, it refers to applications for permanent residency, such as a green card application. It may also refer to other types of immigrations issues, including non-immigrant visas.
The requirements for immigration applications will be different depending on the type of visa or document for which an individual applies. Most immigration applications require certain documents including:
- An individual’s birth certificate;
- An individual’s medical records;
- A photo ID;
- Proof of an individual’s clean criminal record;
- A record an individual’s of previous residences;
- An individual’s bank account statements;
- An individual’s employment records; and/or
- Any other documents as required.
These documents should be submitted with the immigration application. Failing to provide any required documents can negatively affect an individual’s chances of obtaining a visa document.
What are Some Common Immigration Violations?
Immigration violations, also called illegal immigration, are violations of the immigration laws and policies that are enforced in the United States. Usually, they refer to an individual who enters the United States illegally, but can include other violations as well.
Some common violations in Florida and the rest of the United States include when an individual:
- Enters into the United States illegally;
- Overstays an individual’s visa privileges;
- Improperly and/or illegally re-enters into the U.S. after deportation or removal;
- Exercises fraudulent intent when submitting an immigration application;
- Enters into a sham marriage for the purpose of obtaining a green card;
- Engages in violations related to citizenship and/or naturalization applications; and/or
- Hires illegal immigrants as employees.
Most of these violations are willful violations. However, even accidental violations can lead to negative consequences. It is important to be aware of all requirements and/or guidelines such as:
- Any visa requirements;
- Any visa deadlines;
- Any entry instructions; and/or
- Other types of immigration guidelines that apply to an individual.
Which Immigration Documents Should I Know About?
A large number of immigration laws involve documents that are associated with an individual’s immigration status. An immigration document may be used to provide proof of an individual’s immigration status, such as a residency card. In some cases, an immigration document may be necessary for support or evidence in an immigration application.
Important immigration documents include:
- A U.S. Passport, which is required for international travel;
- A U.S. Visa;
- A U.S. Conditional Residency Card;
- A U.S Permanent Resident Cards, also known as a green card;
- A U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number, known as a “Tax ID;”
- A U.S. Social Security Card, which is required for employment in the U.S.;
- An arrival and Departure Record, called “Form I-94;” and/or
- Any Re-entry Permits, which may allow a non-citizen to leave and re-enter the U.S.
All documents associated with immigration laws are extremely important. They should be filled out and completed as accurately as possible and submitted within the required deadlines. Any instructions or requirements regarding when to keep the documents on an individual’s person, either the original or a copy, should be strictly followed.
Does Florida Have Any Special Immigration Laws and Concerns?
There are two main laws and concerns for immigrants in Florida. These are Secure Communities and The 287g Program.
Secure Communities is a federal program that exists in all Florida counties. Under this program, all individuals who are arrested are fingerprinted and entered into a database that checks their immigration status. Most state and local authorities have entered into an agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that allows them to hold an individual being detained for a crime who cannot establish their lawful immigration status so that they may be transferred to immigration authorities after their criminal charges are resolved.
On the other hand, The 287g Program exists only in 3 counties in Florida:
- Collier County;
- Duval County; and
- Bay County.
Pursuant to this program, certain police officers are deputized as ICE agents to carry out certain tasks. These officers can enforce immigration authority in public and in the jails. These officers are permitted to question an individual about their immigration status, even if detained for another offense such as driving without a valid driver’s license. These officers may also question individuals about their immigration status once in jail.
How Can a Florida Immigration Law Attorney Help Me?
Yes, a Florida immigration lawyer can assist you with any immigration related issues. As noted above, immigration law is an extremely complex area of law. It is very important to fill out all documentation accurately and provide everything that is requested and/or required.
An experienced immigration lawyer can assist you with filling out, reviewing, and submitting any documents required and/or requested to the appropriate agency. An attorney can also represent you during any court proceedings and/or application appeals, if necessary.