Adjustment of status under § 245 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) is a program that allows several categories of nonimmigrants who were not in the United States legally or who were in the U.S. legally, but temporarily, to “adjust” their status to a person legally in the United States and admitted for permanent residence. This program ended in April 2001, but it is still available to nonimmigrants whose visa petition or application for labor certification was filed on or before April 30, 2001.
Recently, the United States Coast Guard was made a part of the newly created Department of Homeland Security. Part of the Coast Guard’s mission is the interdiction of migrants attempting to enter the U.S. by sea and the general enforcement of immigration law at sea.
Late in the 1700s, the United States Congress first enacted legislation allowing aliens to become U.S. citizens if they met certain requirements relating to U.S. residence, good moral character, and attachment to the U.S. Although the requirements for naturalization have been refined and certain exemptions have been made, the criteria for naturalization, at their core, are still designed to ensure three things: (1) loyalty to the U.S.; (2) attachment to the U.S. form of government; and (3) worthiness to become a U.S. citizen.
Most people think of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) when they think of the government agency that handles immigration issues. The INS, however, was abolished by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Its responsibility for immigration services was replaced, effective March 1, 2003, by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
There are several categories of nonimmigrant temporary visas, and which type is granted depends upon the purpose of an alien’s visit. Examples of temporary visas include visas for U.S. citizen spouses and children, visas for U.S. lawful permanent resident spouses and children, travel visas for business or pleasure, visas for temporary workers, visas for students and exchange visitors, and visas for victims of trafficking in persons.