New Final Rule May Help Visa Applicants Stay with Their Families

The Secretary of Homeland Security just announced a new final rule that will promote family unity for visa applicants. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the final rule applies to specific situations and will allow some relatives of United States citizens to apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before leaving the country to begin the consular process. This means that immediate relatives (like parents, children and spouses) will spend less time away from each other while applying for permanent residency in the United States. If granted the waiver, they will be able to leave the country knowing that they are admitted to the consular process.

The rule will go into effect on March 4th, 2013. According to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, “This final rule facilitates the legal immigration process and reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa.” Currently, children, parents and spouses of U.S. citizens are required to leave the country before obtaining immigrant visas. In order to qualify for the new waiver, immediate relatives must be inadmissible to the United States only because of their unlawful presence.

According to Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of USCIS, “The law is designed to avoid extreme hardship to U.S. citizens, which is precisely what this rule achieves. The change will have a significant impact on American families by greatly reducing the time family members are separated from those they rely upon.” At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, we are committed to helping clients in Miami and the surrounding area with any legal issue related to immigration. If you are applying for legal residency in the United States, talk to a Miami immigration lawyer from Pozo Goldstein, LLP today!

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