Definitions Regarding Green Card Laws: Who Is Eligible And Under What Circumstances?

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( — April 26, 2017) — Although the issues regarding immigration in the U.S. have calmed down somewhat, the debate continues about who should be accepted onto American soil and who should be turned away. America has always been the “land of the free” and a melting pot. With all the violence going on around the world, protectionists believe that an “American first” attitude needs to be initiated to ensure the safety of American citizens.

There are many different reasons that a person is allowed to migrate to the U.S. Sometimes they are allowed on a temporary basis, while others can become permanent citizens. The definitions of who is welcome, who is not, and what criteria they need to meet can become confusing, and maybe that is why the issue of immigration is such a heated one, especially along political lines.

To gain refugee status

Perhaps the biggest debate in political circles and green card lawyer is whether or not America should take immigrants in on a “refugee” status. With millions of people displaced around the world, there is a humanitarian crisis brewing. The federal law in America defines a “refugee” as someone who will face prosecution because of some factor such as political opinion, race, nationality, religion or their affiliation with a socio-economic group if they either stay in or return to their native land.

Refugee status is not determined by American immigration officials. Rather, it is defined and decided upon by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Once a refugee is referred, the process can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months for an application to be approved. Once the applicant gains refugee status, then a country can decide to accept them or deny them entrance.

Traditionally, America is a country that takes in a high percentage of refugees. America used to allow almost 85,000 refugees a year to come to America. The Obama Administration’s intention was to increase that number to well over 100,000 due to the displacement of people and the suffering across the globe. Once the Trump Administration took office, however, the likelihood is that that number will drop to somewhere around 50,000.

How are they vetted? Each refugee has to go through the process of being vetted and screened. It is an extensive search that includes security checks run through the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Typically, fingerprints are run, and data is compared and compiled from FBI files and DHS databases to search for any history that might be problematic. Refugees also have to be medically screened and must take cultural classes. Before they can finally gain entrance, they have to be screened by the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

What is a green card?

A green card is granted to immigrants who have been given permanent residence in the U.S. It is called a “green card” because it is a green-colored card, and the person must carry it with them at all times. They are usually issued for approximately ten years. After that, the applicant must apply again for a new one to remain, or they can apply for naturalization in order to become an American citizen.

How do you get a green card? To qualify for a green card, you have to directly petition American officials and must either have been granted asylum or be classified as a refugee. You can also get a green card if you have a job and a family member who is willing to sponsor you. Green cards are limited by Congress and decided upon by the State Department. There is a set number of individuals who are allowed to migrate.

A visa is different. It is a travel document that allows you to move into and out of the country. They are for non-immigrant individuals who only want to stay in the U.S. temporarily. They can also be for people who want to migrate to the U.S. and who are in the process of trying to apply for a green card. There are over thirty different types of immigrant visas you can obtain.

America has always been a melting pot which has welcomed the poor, the hungry and the weak in any society. But with security issues mounting, immigration has been something that public officials have had to reevaluate for the safety of everyone.