Immigration Agencies & Their Roles
The following guide is a brief overview of the various players and agencies surrounding the complicated world of U.S. Immigration law.
Department of Homeland Security - USCISU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. USCIS is responsible for processing immigrant visa petitions, naturalization petitions, asylum applications, and refugee applications. It also makes adjudicative decisions performed at the service centers, and manages all other immigration benefits functions performed by the former INS.
Department of Homeland Security - ICEU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety.
Department of Justice - EOIR/BIAThe primary mission of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is to adjudicate immigration cases. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws.
Department of StateThe Office of Visa Services, in the Consular Affairs Bureau, Department of State provides various functions: To serve as liaisons with the Department of Homeland Security;
To serve as liaisons between the Department of State and U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad on visa matters; To interpret visa laws and regulations, and act as a point of contact for the public.