Skip to Top NavigationSkip to Utility NavigationSkip to SearchSkip to Left NavigationSkip to Content
Mobile Menu


Immigration law refers to the rules established by the federal government to determine who is allowed to enter the US and for how long. It also governs the naturalization process for those who desire to become U.S. citizens.

The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952. Before the INA, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. The McCarran-Walter bill of 1952, Public Law No. 82-414, collected and codified many existing provisions and reorganized the structure of immigration law. The Act has been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law.

Three federal agencies are charged with administering and enforcing immigration laws and all three agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security:

Generally speaking, people from foreign countries obtain permission to come to the United States through a visa approval process. U.S. visas are separated into two categories:

  • A non-immigrant visa is most frequently a tourist, business, student or specialty worker document issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, that permits you to travel to the United States during the validity of the visa to accomplish a specific purpose, such as visiting, studying or working in a specialty job.Individuals who are traveling to the United States for a temporary purpose are classified under U.S. law as non-immigrants, since they do not intend to remain here permanently. These persons must obtain a "non-immigrant visa" (NIV).
  • Individuals who are traveling to the United States to live and work permanently are classified as immigrants and must obtain an "immigrant visa" (IV) permitting them to stay indefinitely.

As such, International Students and Scholars attending programs of study at the University of Hartford hold an F-1 or J-1 visa and are considered to be in non-immigrant status, as their entry is of a "temporary" nature.

A Note About Immigration Regulations

The International Center strives to maintain the accuracy of our website, particularly as it relates to immigration regulations and procedures.  Due to evolving changes in immigration law, it is not always possible to make timely updates to our site.  International students and scholars are advised to always check with their International Student Advisor for the most up-to-date information.