What is USCIS?

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If you are dealing with any subject related to visas or immigration into the United States it is likely that, at some point, you will have to have contact with the United States Custom and Immigration Service or USCIS.

A Short History of the USCIS

The INS or the Immigration and Naturalization Service was dismantled in 2003. At that time, it was separated into three different agencies with distinct responsibilities related to immigration into the United States. This split was meant to increase efficiency and enhance the security of all immigration services. It was then that these agencies were created:

  • USCIS – or United States Customs and Immigration Services. Its objective is to provide immigration information, grant immigration, and citizenship benefits and ensuring the integrity of the immigration system.
  • ICE – or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Its mission is the enforcement of smart immigration while preventing terrorism and fighting the illegal movement of people and goods, securing the border, and safeguarding the integrity of the American immigration system.
  • CBP – or Customs and Border Protection. Its purpose is to prevent people from coming illegally into the United States. They also make sure nothing illegal or harmful is brought into the country.

Today, these three agencies are part of the DHS or Department of Homeland Security.

How can USCIS help you?

There are many functions that the USCIS performs regarding immigration. Depending on your status, it may help you with:

  • Becoming a legal permanent resident or Green Card holder through an employment offer
  • Becoming a legal permanent resident or Green Card holder through refugee status
  • Becoming an American citizen through naturalization
  • Obtaining a US citizenship through your parents
  • Obtaining a US citizenship through your spouse
  • Petitioning for US citizenship for an immediate relative
  • Obtaining an employment authorization document
  • Renewing or replacing your Green Card
  • Obtaining temporary protective status
  • Obtaining asylum status
  • Obtaining proof of citizenship
  • Obtaining a wide variety of visas such as L-1A and L-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3, P-1A and P-1B, and others

As you can see from this list which only details some of the duties the USCIS performs, this agency touches every aspect of the immigration process.

Are you interested in working in the United States?

USCIS is in charge of managing the process that allows you, when coming from another country, to work in the United States. There are two paths open to you if you want to come and work n this country: temporary and permanent.

If you are looking to get a temporary visa, you may do so through your employer. They are required to file a petition with USCIS on your behalf. If you are interested in working permanently in the United States, you must have the right combination of work experience, skills, and education and qualify for one of five employment-based visa categories.

The immigration process into the United States is extremely complicated and making even a small mistake can put in jeopardy the end result you wish to obtain. If you are interested in getting either a temporary or a permanent work visa, schedule an initial consultation with Immigration Lawyer Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez. Each individual story is different and there is no universal solution for everybody. Make sure to work with an experienced immigration attorney that will help you get the visa you seek.