Immigration Law Overview

This module provides basic information on Federal Immigration Law and Enforcement

  • U.S. immigration law is very complex.
  • The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), the body of law governing current immigration policy, provides for an annual worldwide limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants, with certain exceptions for close family members.
  • Lawful permanent residency allows a foreign national to work and live lawfully and permanently in the United States. Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are eligible to apply for nearly all jobs (i.e., jobs not legitimately restricted to U.S. citizens) and can remain in the country even if they are unemployed.
  • Each year the United States also admits noncitizens on a temporary basis.
  • Annually, Congress and the President determine a separate number for refugee admissions.
  • Immigration to the United States is based upon the following principles: the reunification of families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable to the U.S. economy, protecting refugees, and promoting diversity.
  • For more information:

Immigration law applies to all non U.S. citizens

  • There are many types of non U.S. citizens ranging from lawful permanent residents to individuals who are undocumented.
  • All are governed by federal immigration law.