The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is working to decrease the time delay of family members legally immigrating to join their U.S. citizen family members, in the United States. New regulatory proposals were announced January 6, 2012, by Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Family unity is the foundation for many of the U.S. immigration laws. It’s a high priority. Now, the government seeks to reduce the wait time for family reunification, work more efficiently, and to standardize the process.
Mr. Mayorka’s statement explains,
“Currently, children and spouses of U.S. citizens who have accrued a certain period of unlawful presence in the U.S., and have to leave the country in order to become a legal permanent resident of the U.S., are barred from returning to their families for as long as 3 or 10 years. They can receive a waiver to allow them to return to their families before that period by showing that their U.S. citizen family member would face extreme hardship as a result of the separation. But under current procedures, in order to obtain the waiver, these individuals must apply from outside the United States after they have been found inadmissible by a Department of State consular officer. This process can be lengthy and discourages individuals who are currently eligible for this waiver from applying. To address this problem, the USCIS proposal would allow eligible immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for and receive “provisional waivers” of unlawful presence before they leave the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications, significantly reducing the time U.S. citizens are separated from their spouses, or children.”
Reunification Benefits Our Society
It is recognized that a separation of 3 to 10 years can cause a significant breakdown in the family and family support systems. It benefits the U.S. government and society, in general, if families are kept together. Families provide emotional and financial support that the government and taxpayers would otherwise bear the brunt of.
Where to Get Help Bringing Your Family Members to the United States
More details on the new immigration regulations will be published, likely this spring, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Public comments will be welcome. If you need help, we focus our practice on immigration law and bringing children and spouses of American citizens to the U.S.
Your next step is to contact our office: 513-791-1673, the form below or Thomasjr@geygan.com. We will guide you and your loved ones through the immigration process and help you to reunify your family in the United States.