Basics of Immigration Law

Basics of Immigration Law


Welcome to LawShelf’s video-course in the basics of immigration law. This course is a survey of immigration law, from illegal entrants to legal nonimmigrant entrants to lawful permanent residents to naturalized citizens.

This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge of law or immigration is required.

The course starts with an explanation of the structure of US immigration law and the continuing economic and social forces that affect it. We’ll also cover the roles of the branches of government and discuss why immigration law is almost exclusively in the federal sphere. We’ll also go over the various federal statutes that govern immigration law.

Module 2 looks at nonimmigrant entry into the United States. We’ll look at the visa waiver program and then at the many visa classes available. We’ll also look trusted traveler programs that make entry easier, such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST.

Module turns to “lawful permanent residents,” otherwise known as “green card” holders. We’ll discuss the eligibility criteria and the process to obtain this coveted status. We’ll also look at how refugees and asylum seekers can earn green cards.

Module 4 turns to the ultimate step an immigrant can achieve: US citizenship by naturalization. We’ll look at the benefits of citizenship and the pathways to citizenship. We’ll go through the step-by-step naturalization process in detail and look at the standards by which the USCIS evaluates citizenship applications.

Finally, we’ll focus on immigration law in the scheme of international laws. We’ll look at treaties and other international laws and the problem of refugees and how international law and American law deals with them. We’ll also take a look at recent trends in immigration law in the US and global systems.

We are confident that this course will give you a solid background in immigration law and will be an excellent first step in learning this complex but important and relevant area of law.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.

What is a video-course?

A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

How long will it take me to complete a video-course?

Between watching the modules, doing the self-test practice questions, reviewing the material and taking the final exam, we estimate that completing a video-course requires a time investment of 4-5 hours.  The courses are designed to get straight to the point. We’re cognizant that your time is valuable, and we condense the information you need to know to comprehensively cover a subject into as little time as practical.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

Introduction to Immigration Law - Module 1 of 5

Nonimmigrant Entry into the United States - Module 2 of 5

Immigrant Visas and Lawful Permanent Residents - Module 3 of 5

United States Citizenship Through Naturalization - Module 4 of 5

Immigration and International Law - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.