What Is the USCIS?

If you are dealing with or intending to deal with an immigration issue, whether it is seeking U.S. permanent residency, a visa, renewal of a visa, or something else, then you will likely have heard of USCIS. An integral part of the U.S. immigration system, USCIS oversees a variety of immigration-related issues. Here, we will go into more detail as to what USCIS actually is.

Overview of the USCIS

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, assumed responsibility for the federal government’s immigration service functions back on March 1st of 2003. While the Homeland Security Act created both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in order to have oversight on immigration enforcement and enhanced border security, USCIS was created to administer the lawful immigration system of the U.S. it is tasked with adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while accounting for how that may impact Americans and our homeland security.

Generally speaking, USCIS is tasked with overseeing lawful immigration to the United States. It falls under the Department of Homeland Security and provides services ranging from citizenship to international adoptions and humanitarian programs. Regarding citizenship services, USCIS oversees the application process for those individuals looking to become U.S. citizens through naturalization. Citizenship applications are submitted to USCIS and USCIS, in turn, determines eligibility. The application is processed and, if approved, USCIS will schedule the applicant to participate in a ceremony where the Oath of Allegiance will be administered. Furthermore, USCIS will determine the eligibility of U.S. citizenship for those individuals who have either acquired U.S. citizenship or derived U.S. citizenship through their parents and will also provide them with documentation of such.

USCIS also oversees the process allowing current U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens to bring close relatives to the U.S. to live and work. It may come as no surprise then that USCIS also oversees work authorization for individuals from other countries looking to obtain the legal right to work in the U.S. Sometimes, an individual will only be temporarily authorized to work in the country. Other times, a work visa may act as a path to permanent residency. USCIS also manages the system that permits participating employers to verify the employment eligibility of new hires electronically.

In addition, USCIS is charged with administering humanitarian programs that grant protection to certain qualifying individuals. These humanitarian efforts include those who are already in the U.S. or are outside the U.S. and have been displaced by war, famine, political unrest, or civil unrest. These humanitarian programs also offer protections to those who have been forced to flee their home countries in order to escape the risk of death or torture at the hands of persecutors.

Another major immigration aspect overseen by USCIS involves international adoptions. In fact, according to USCIS, there are about 20,000 adoptions that occur each year. USCIS is in charge of managing the first step in the process that a U.S. citizen must take in order to adopt a child from another country.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x104). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.