Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
All the information you need to immigrate to the U.S.
Grounds of Inadmissibility
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (the 96 Act) and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 establish major new grounds of inadmissibility to the United States. Exceptions and waivers may be available in some cases and under certain circumstances.
All aliens bear the burden of proof to show that they are admissible, whether they seek to enter this country at ports of entry, are interdicted in international or U.S. waters, or are present in the United States without having been admitted. The new grounds of inadmissibility are:
Illegal Aliens Face New Grounds of Inadmissibility
In general, aliens present in the United States without having been admitted or paroled are considered inadmissible. An exception may be available for certain aliens who qualify for immigrant status if the alien or alien's child has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty. This provision takes effect April 1, 1997. This provision does not affect eligibility to adjust status under section 245(i), a provision for adjustment upon payment of a penalty fee. The authority for this adjustment is scheduled to lapse on September 30, 1997.
Visa Violators Are Barred From U.S. Readmission for 3-10 Years
Aliens seeking to reenter the United States will be barred for three years if they were unlawfully in the United States for more than 180 days after April 1, 1997. Aliens seeking to reenter the United States will be barred for 10 years if they were unlawfully in the United States for more than one year after April 1, 1997. Limited exceptions apply to minors, persons with pending good-faith asylum applications, certain battered spouses and children, and aliens with an application for change, extension or adjustment of status pending who have not worked illegally. In addition, the Attorney General may waive this ground of admissibility for an immigrant who is the spouse or child of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, if the immigrant's departure would cause the citizen or resident extreme hardship. This provision takes effect April 1, 1997.
Additional Grounds of Inadmissibility for Terrorist Activity
Any alien who has incited terrorist activity under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily harm is inadmissible. This provision took effect September 30, 1996, and applies to incitement regardless of when it occurred.
New Rules Regarding "Terrorist Organizations"
Aliens who are representatives or members of groups designated by the Secretary of State as foreign terrorist organizations are inadmissible. This provision took effect April 24, 1996 under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
Affidavits of Support Required for Family-Sponsored Immigrants
Most family-sponsored immigrants must have an enforceable, legally binding affidavit of support (a contract agreeing to provide financial support) to be admitted. The affidavit of support, which was not legally binding on the sponsor of an immigrant in the past, will be legally enforceable 60 days after publication of the regulation in the Federal Register. The 96 Act affidavit of support includes minimum income requirements for the sponsor, and generally requires that the sponsor of the immigrant also be the person petitioning on the immigrant's behalf.
Affidavits of Support Required for Employment-Based Immigrants
Any employment-based immigrant sponsored by a relative or business, in which the relative has a significant ownership interest, must have an affidavit of support executed by the relative, as described above for family-sponsored immigrants.
Health Care Workers Must Be Certified
Aliens who seek admission for the purpose of working as health care workers other than physicians are inadmissible unless they present to the consular officer or the Attorney General a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools or an equivalent independent credentialing organization approved by the Attorney General, verifying that the alien's education, training, license and experience meet U.S. standards and are comparable with those required of American health-care workers. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate competence in oral and written English. This provision took effect September 30, 1996.
Proof of Vaccinations
Under the 96 Act, aliens seeking to immigrate permanently are inadmissible unless they have been vaccinated against mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B, and any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices. This provision took effect September 30, 1996.
Failure to Attend Removal Proceedings
Aliens who fail, without reasonable cause, to attend or remain in attendance without reasonable cause at a proceeding to determine their inadmissibility or deportability are inadmissible if they seek admission to the United States within five years of their subsequent departure. This provision takes effect April 1, 1997.
False Claims of Citizenship
Aliens who falsely claim to be U.S. citizens for any purpose or benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or other federal or state law are inadmissible. This provision took effect September 30, 1996 and applies to misrepresentations occurring on or after that date.
Student Visa Abusers Are Inadmissible
As of November 29, 1996, aliens are no longer eligible to use non-immigrant student (F-1) visas to attend public elementary or secondary school or publicly-funded adult education programs for more than 12 months. Aliens who obtain the F-1 visa to attend a public secondary school for up to 12 months must reimburse the public school system. Aliens who violate these new terms of the F-1 visa are inadmissible for five years. These new restrictions do not apply to private schools or other visa classifications.
Previously Removed Aliens
Any alien ordered removed is inadmissible for at least five years from the date of removal or departure. Any alien who has been convicted of an aggravated felony and removed under the law is indefinitely barred from reentry. This provision takes effect April 1, 1997.
Any alien who is accompanying another inadmissible alien certified to be helpless due to illness, mental or physical disability and determined to require protection or guardianship by the alien is also inadmissible. This provision takes effect April 1, 1997.
Any alien who has voted in violation of any federal, state or local law is inadmissible. This provision takes effect April 1, 1997 and applies to voting occurring before, on, or after that date.
Former Citizens Who Renounced Citizenship to Avoid Taxation
Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces U.S. citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced U.S. citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is inadmissible. This provision took effect September 30, 1996 and applies to individuals who renounce their citizenship on or after that date.
Search Blog Directory: