Legal Toolkit Pennsylvania Immigration and Visas

What to Know About Immigration and Visas

a

The three purposes behind U.S. immigration laws are: (1) to bring families together; (2) provide benefits to the U.S. economy; and (3) to keep our nation's borders secure.

b

Immigration is a federal practice, meaning the law applies equally throughout the entire United States. Therefore, an immigration lawyer based in Pennsylvania can help you with immigration issues in other states too.

c

Immigration issues fall into three main categories. (1) employment-based (i.e., someone who is not a U.S. citizen but wants to work for a company in the U.S. or start a business here); (2) family-based (i.e., someone seeking entry into or desiring to stay in the U.S. based on a familial relationship); and (3) related to removal and asylum issues (i.e., deportation or refugee issues).

d

Immigration is a complex, forms-intensive process, with substantial legal considerations. Forms must be completed carefully and thoroughly and it is key that one understands all immigration options and the impact of current laws. There may be multiple methods to securing the immigration benefits desired.

e

Only a U.S.-licensed attorney or an accredited representative is authorized and qualified to assist with your immigration case. If you are not able to afford an attorney, an accredited representative could help you. Accredited representatives typically work with a nonprofit community or religious organization and have some skills, training, and experience to assist people with their immigration matters. A list of accredited representatives from the Department of Justice is available in "Where to Read More". If you are unsure about whether the person to whom you are speaking is an attorney or is accredited, you can ask to see ask to see the accreditation letters or U.S. bar admission certificate.