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How to Know if You’re Eligible to Immigrate to the U.S.

Shortly after taking office in January 2021, President Joe Biden introduced a legislative proposal many analysts see as an effort to overhaul American immigration policy. Previous attempts at immigration reform have fizzled ever since the Patriot Act of 2001 complicated things, so the chances of Biden’s proposal passing in its entirety are limited. However, legal analysts believe many of the bill’s provisions could be turned into new and improved rules as a means of compromise.

Unlike his predecessor, President Biden is a seasoned political leader who believes in the positive aspects of immigration. If you’re thinking about entering the U.S. and going through the residency petition process, your first step should be to learn about admissibility, and in 2021, this has public health connotations related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Admissibility is a determination made by case adjudicators from Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department. This determination applies to all non-citizens who wish to enter the U.S., and it can be subject to change during the immigration process. Navigating this process can be quite difficult, which is why it’s crucial to select the best San Diego immigration lawyer you can find.

Vaccine Requirements

Health criteria have become a major factor in the determination of who can be admitted to the U.S. If you haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, your chances of entering the country will be sharply reduced. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its list of vaccines required for immigration, and there were more than a dozen. Coronavirus vaccines haven’t been added to the list because their approval as of September 2021 was restricted to emergency use, but they’re an admission requirement nonetheless.

Visa Eligibility

All foreigners need visas to enter the U.S. The two main visa categories are immigrant and non-immigrant, and what sets them apart is the intention to reside in the country. A visa will be granted only if the applicant is deemed to be admissible, and this determination will once again be made by immigration and customs agents upon entry.

To qualify as a prospective immigrant, you would need to be eligible for one of the following visas:

  • Family-based
  • Humanitarian
  • Diversity
  • Employment
  • Investment

Most employment-based visas are part of the non-immigrant category. However, there are some programs in which the status can be adjusted as long as the applicant isn’t from a country that has high rates of immigration. Some humanitarian visas are issued under the Temporary Protection Status program, which means they’ll expire at some point, although they feature a path to permanent residence in some cases.

Additional Factors

An important aspect of admissibility is being able to prove you don’t intend to apply for public assistance or welfare once you enter the country. If you have a criminal record or have a history of breaking U.S. immigration laws, you may be able to work with a law firm to obtain waivers. The same goes for applicants who have histories of substance abuse.

Hiring a highly qualified immigration attorney is one of the best ways to make the immigration process less complicated and stressful. If you need reliable, high-quality legal advice about San Diego immigration issues, reach out to the immigration law experts at KS Visa Law. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 858-874-0711.

May 2024