4 Things About US Citizenship and Immigration Service

Did you know that the United States is big on welcoming immigrants from around the world into the country? Yes, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Service is the body in charge of the immigration process. This has been a long-standing history, and as long as you qualify, you can be granted entry and residency in the country. Now, that’s good news for any potential immigrants looking to move to the United States. It even gets better when you realize that, on average, nearly 1 million people are granted permanent residency each year.

However, it almost goes without saying that there’s a process to follow to get into the United States, whether temporarily or permanently. One of the very first things to do as a potential immigrant is to get acquainted with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Here, this article will tell you everything you need to know about the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to get started.

What is the US Citizenship and Immigration Service?

The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is the body in charge of processing immigration into the United States. They are also responsible for approving citizenship and establishing immigration-based policies. Basically, the body helps uphold the American promise to consider potential immigrants with fairness and integrity.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Service also ensures that any entry into the country is legal. Therefore, any immigration that is not approved by the USCIS is considered illegal. Consequentially, any immigrant discovered to be in the country illegally will be reported by the immigration body.

Services Provided By the USCIS

The US Citizenship and Immigration Service is pledged to make immigration lawful and safer for potential immigrants. Here’s a breakdown of the services they provide.

  • Citizenship and Naturalization: This is probably the most obvious task for the USCIS, and it involves processing foreigners who which to become US citizens. The process usually involves determining the eligibility of such persons, processing their applications, and overseeing their “oath of allegiance ceremony) if approved. Determining the eligibility of potential immigrants, however, often requires thorough background checks, which the USCIS does with due diligence.
  • Family Reunions: The USCIS is also in charge of approving and reuniting US citizens with family members that are outside the country. The process is known as family-based immigration. Basically, it allows permanent US residents to bring their close relatives (mostly direct relations) into the country. If approved, these family members will be allowed to live, work, and enjoy other benefits in the United States. As part of the family-based immigration program, the USCIS also oversees foreign adoptions. This situation occurs when a US citizen wishes to legally adopt children from other countries.
  • US Work Approval: As part of their services, the USCIS also allows qualified foreigners to enter and work in the US. This process is called employment-based immigration, and it is overseen by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Of course, most of the opportunities in this option are limited to temporal residency. However, it also provides a part of permanent residency for qualified individuals. Beyond physical employment, the USCIS also oversees the system that allows for E-employment and verifications.
  • Educational Aid and Study Approvals: The USCIS also makes allowances for foreign students who wish to study in the United States. However, said students must be enrolled in an academic education program, vocational program, or language training program.
  • Humanitarian Aids and Assistance: The US humanitarian program is another service administered by the USCIS. It involves providing protection for foreigners displaced by war, unrest, famine, or natural disasters. The program ensures the safety of refugees, IDPs, and individuals being persecuted to the point of torture or death.

How Does the USCIS Conduct Investigations?

It is generally the job of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to ensure that immigrants coming into the United States do not pose any security risk. The aim is to ensure public safety while upholding its status as an open country. Now, to make sure of this, the USCIS usually does thorough background checks on any potential immigrant. Here’s how these investigations are done:

Firstly, you should know that the USCIS has the authority to collect basic and in-depth information about all immigrants. This information includes biometrics such as fingerprints, digital footprints, and photographs, among other things. Now, the biometrics collected doesn’t just allow the USCIS to verify a person’s identity, but it also provides complete access to their security background and criminal record. Moreover, the USCIS can request further information about immigrants from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). This extra process is often only included for specific cases, and it’s a key part of the investigation process.

How Long Does it Take To Approve Green Cards?

When it comes to the timeline for immigration or green card approval, the USCIS bases it on different factors. This means that some requests could take longer than others, depending on several factors. Some of these factors include the visa type, applicant background information, USCIS backlog at your service center, etc. However, here’s a breakdown of the average time taken for green card processing per visa type.

According to the USCIS website, family-based immigrations take an average time of 10.1 months while employment-based visas take less at about 7.5 months. For advance parole applicants have to wait for just over 6 months, while Naturalization takes up to 9 months.

Note that these are just average processing times, and your application could take longer for some of the reasons listed above. However, you can submit an appeal to expedite the process if it is taking much longer than necessary.

The Coleman Law Group Can Help You

Expediting your immigration application is a good way to get it over the line faster. However, the Immigration Service process can be a bit tricky, and it would be best to involve an experienced lawyer. Thankfully, the Coleman Law Group is always on hand to help with all your immigration service needs. Also, you can count on our experience and expertise to help make the entire process easy for you.

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