What Is The Current Immigration Policy In The United States?

Through the years, the United States has gained a reputation of being a true melting pot, a place where people from all over the world can find refuge from prosecution as well as a plethora of opportunities for pursuing a better life. Immigration, as a policy, has been the predominant responsibility of the federal government.


Among the most important topics that the federal government handles when it comes to immigration, there are the steps required to acquire U.S. citizenship, the procedures for people that come into this country either as refugees or as asylum seekers, the issuing of temporary and permanent visas for employment or family-based reunions, and other humanitarian-based and diversity visas.


The overall number of visas available each year is limited, currently standing at around 876,000. Although this seems like a massive number, the reality is that the number of people requesting some type of visa annually, vastly exceeds this amount. Additionally, it has been estimated that there are over 11 million people residing in the United States illegally, with no visa at all.

What Are The Basic Principles Of The American Immigration Policy?

By the breadth of all it encompasses, U.S. immigration policy is extremely complex. Also, there is a great deal of confusion as to how it works. However, there are some basic concepts that guide this policy:

The reunification of families

For family members to be reunited, a U.S. citizen must sponsor an individual relative. To do so, the first step is that the legitimacy of the relationship must be established. Once that is done, the sponsoring relative must prove that they have enough income to provide for this incoming relative as they are adapting to their new country and starting their new life.

If the incoming relative is a spouse, parent or unmarried minor child, the number of visas is unlimited. The number varies whether the sponsored relative is a married adult child or a sibling. If the sponsor is not a citizen but a legal permanent resident, the number of visas also diminishes.

Admitting immigrants that bring valuable skills to the country

Employers can sponsor certain employees with valuable skills and training. Some of these visas are temporary and the workers that receive them have no possibility of changing jobs. There are over 20 different types of temporary work visas and they include visas for, among others:


  • Entertainers
  • Athletes
  • Skilled performers
  • Religious Workers
  • Highly skilled employees


Permanent visas are also available, and they may be offered to:


  • Individuals of extraordinary abilities in the arts, education, science, sports or business
  • Professionals holding advanced degrees
  • Skilled workers with specific training
  • Employees of foreign service posts
  • Investors that employ at least 10 US citizens full time

Protecting refugees

Individuals that fear returning to their home countries due to persecution because of their race, religious beliefs, political opinions or other considerations. Each year the president and Congress determine the number of refugee visas that will be granted.

Promoting diversity

People from certain countries may apply for the lottery visas. These benefit particular individuals from Africa and Eastern Europe in the belief that these are regions with low immigration rates.


If you have questions regarding your immigration status in the United States, call the Florida Immigration Law Counsel, your Florida immigration lawyers.



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