Since 1790, with the passing of the Naturalization Act there had been a series of laws which were passed in US to effectively deal with the immigration laws in the country. The modern law of immigration started with the passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 which is also known as the McCarran Walter Act.
The Act as if now had undergone several amendments by a series of Acts like the Hart Cellar Act of 1965, The Armed Forces Naturalization Act of 1968, Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982, Immigration and Reform Control Act of 1986,Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 and Armed Forces Immigration Adjustment Act. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 amend the Act of 1952 with regard to the preference system of admission of immigrants and for administrative naturalization.
After March 2003 INS was replaced by the Department of Homeland Security which is having three agencies namely US Customs and Border Enforcement dealing with the border patrol duties, The US Citizenship and Immigration Services dealing with matters like naturalization and permanent settlement and The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement which performs the investigatory functions.
US Immigration Laws for Indians
There are two types of visa which is available: immigrant and non-immigrant. Immigrant visas are for persons who intend to work and permanently settle in US. The latter is for the person who can live in US for a limited period only.
On deciding the type of visa one can apply and appear for interview at the embassy or consulate after getting the appointment for interview.
The non immigrant visa includes the visa for business and tourism purposes, student and exchange visitor, for unique cultural and athletic performances etc.
Immigration laws International Students
For the International students who want to study in US, there are 3 types of visa available. F 1 Visa, J 1 Visa and M 1 Visa where F1 visa is issued to students to study or do research in an accredited US institution, M 1 to do a non academic training or vocational program in a non academic institution and J 1 visa for students doing academic studies as an exchange visitor.
As a first step the student should get I 20 forms and IAP 66 forms from the institution approved by INS and US Information Agency. The student or the exchange visitor can now directly apply to the embassy or consulate. The applicant can file at the embassy the filled in application form along with the I 20 or IAP 66 forms other documents including passport, photograph, etc. In case visa had expired when you are in the US, the student can apply for renewal of the visa at the embassy and he need not come to his home country for such renewal. Any foreign student in US cannot do any off-campus work in the first nine months when he stays with F 1 Visa. F 1 visa holders can undergo off campus work and practical work after this span of nine months. On the other hand M1 visa holders who could do practical work are not permitted to work.
If the students who are not authorized to work are found working then their visa will be cancelled and will be deported. The US immigration laws seem to be very easy when we abide by the rules but in case there is any departure the violators the consequences would be really worse.