Who's in Charge? Agencies and Immigration

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

The Department of State also issues visas and publishes a visa bulletinevery month showing how many visas are available in different categories, and how current the categories are. The first point of contact for most people overseas who wish to live or work in the United States is the U.S. Embassy or Consulatein their country.

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Citizenship and Immigration Services - USCIS is responsible for lawful immigration to this country. This agency reviews applications for many types of visas as well as applications for citizenship and permanent residency. Generally, if a relative or an employer wants to sponsor a foreigner for any sort of visa, they must file paperwork through USCIS.

Customs and Border Protection- The country's largest uniformed law enforcement agency is responsible
for controlling access to the United States through various points of entry like land borders, sea ports and airports.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement- ICE enforces immigration and customs laws within the country's borders. This agency may arrest, detain and deport aliens.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Executive Office for Immigration Review- Commonly referred to as "Immigration Court," the EOIR conducts hearings
to determine whether a person charged with violating immigration laws should be ordered removed (deported).

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

 Department of Labor - Many employment-based visas require that the prospective employer obtain certification from the Department of Labor.