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Is This A Better Immigration System?
What Does Citizenship Even Mean?
According to the State Department, there were nearly 10 million visas issued for entry into the U.S. in 2014. There are a host of circumstances and regulations surrounding all of those official visas, as this policy has become extremely complex in recent history. Foreign nationals, for instance, must receive a visa upon entry that stipulates the intent and duration of a person's stay in the U.S. For much of American history, this process was not only restrictive, but downright discriminatory. It imposed harsh limitations based on ethnicity, mental illness, and sexual orientation, among other factors.
For non-immigrants, there is a variety of temporary visas available. These can range from students attending college to athletes visiting for a competition to victims of human trafficking. There's also a select group of countries including Canada and island nations that have a special arrangement with the U.S. that allows essentially indefinite stay. In addition, there's an agreement with a group of 38 countries (mostly European) that allows nationals from those countries to stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
Broadly speaking, an applicant seeking visa approval should have a clean, stable personal background. Reasons for rejection can include criminal convictions, a history of drug use, and sex work.
US visas get new scrutiny after California, Paris attacks (bigstory.ap.org)
"Visas used by foreigners to travel to the United States are getting new scrutiny in the wake of shooting massacres in California and France."
Directory of Visa Categories (travel.state.gov)
"The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law."
Why Narendra Modi Was Banned From the U.S. (wsj.com)
"Narendra Modi is the only person ever denied a U.S. visa based on a little-known law on religious freedom."