Immigration Policy

U.S. immigration law appears to be a very complex law. It provides an annual worldwide limit of a number of 675,000 permanent immigrants, making an exception of close family members. Immigration in the U.S. is centered on the following principles: family reunification, refugee protection, and diversity promotion.

Family-Based Immigration

Family unification is the major principle governing U.S. immigration policy. The family-based immigration policy allows U.S. citizens and other permanent residents to bring their family members to the United States. Each year, there are 480,000 visas for family members. Family-based immigrants are allowed to the U.S. as immediate relatives of the U.S. citizens or according to the family preference system. There is no limit for visas available for immediate relatives, but they should meet some requirements such as:

  • U.S. citizens’ spouses

  • U.S. citizens’ minor children

  • U.S. citizens’ parents

There is a limited number of visas available each year for the family preference system. The petitioners should meet some requirements which include:

  • U.S. citizens’ adult children and relatives

  • Minor and adult spouses and unmarried children

Employment-Based Immigration

The U.S. comes up with a variety of ways for immigrants with high skills to come to the U.S. on a temporary or permanent basis. There are twenty types of visas available for temporary nonimmigrant workers. The temporary workers categories are meant for highly skilled workers and immigrants having a temporary work visa which is sponsored by an employer for a certain job offer. Many of the temporary visas are limited as well.

Employment-based immigration which is permanent is established at a rate of 140,000 visas per year. This type of immigration is limited as well. Preference is also given to skilled workers with two years with both training and experience in addition to professionals with a college degree, or some other workers that do not do temporary or seasonable labor.


Refugees are allowed to the U.S. if they have no chance to return home because of their race, membership to a social group, religion, political opinion, or national origin. The admission of refugees depends on several factors such as the degree of risk they are facing, membership to a group that is of concern to the U.S. or if they have family members in the U.S. The total limit of refugees depends on the limit for each region of the countries from all over the world.