US Government Immigration Agencies

Various Government Agencies involved in the immigration process

In order to retain the national security and restrict the unauthorized illegal entries into US, a new federal law enforcement agency known as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in the year 2002. It is one of the most significant government agencies comprising of three main federal departments such as Customs and Border protection (CBP), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). However, for all the immigration issues of foreign nationals abroad or overseas, the US department of State Embassy or Consulate is in charge of application processing associated with the refugee status or non-immigrant visas.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

As a part of federal government agencies, the USCIS formed on March 1st, 2003, acts as an integral element of DHS holding all immigration responsibilities of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to establish the immigration legislation policies and priorities.

  • Foreign individuals residing in US are eligible to approach USCIS for all the immigration-related application processing and authorizations for lawful permanent residence, change of immigration status and other issues related to naturalization.
  • Even though an individual possess a valid visa from US embassy to enter into US, the Homeland Security together with USCIS may deny his entry on the basis of security reasons.
  • It also deals with many issues of family or employment based petitions, international adaptations, approving extensions for non-immigrant or immigrant visas, asylum and refugee processing etc.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP):

Like USCIS, the CBP is also a major division of government agencies, which plays a vital part to prevent the terrorists and other criminals entering into US through borders and other port of entries.

  • It facilitates and controls various US regulations including legitimate international trade, immigration and customs and other responsibilities of border protection.
  • It has the powers to impose civil and criminal penalties to the individuals for presenting false information and fraudulent documents during importation.
  • CBP includes many Agricultural specialists, Border Patrol agents and Air and Marine Interdiction agents working for it to curtail the illegal entries of harmful pests and diseases, weapons, drugs and others into US by all means of transportation.

US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE):

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), formed after 9/11 terrorist attack, is one of the largest law enforcement government agencies that is in charge of all functions of former U.S. Customs Service, the INS, the Federal Air Marshals Service and the Federal Protective Service.

  • It is assigned with the duties of identifying and eliminating border, economic, transportation, and other infrastructure security vulnerabilities to protect the United States from further terrorist attacks.

US Department of Labor (DOL):

Apart from the above government agencies, DOL promotes the welfare of foreign workers by enhancing their working conditions and employment opportunities and also holds the responsibility of certifying the labor condition applications for non-immigrant petitions.

US Department of State (DOS):

The DOS is also a major federal executive division of government agencies that deals with different US visa tasks, foreign affair activities and co-ordinates with other federal agencies to sustain peace and stability.