March 02, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Immigration waivers to ease transition to legal permanent residency
Family-based immigration is one of the most common ways for individuals to achieve legal permanent residency in the United States. Under current law, the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can petition for legal permanent residency, which, if granted, can provide a pathway to eventual citizenship. A recent rule change aims to make this process easier for prospective immigrants who entered the country illegally but later became eligible for legal residency.
Sometimes, prospective immigrants are allowed to petition for family-based green cards
while they are already in the United States. However, in many cases, the petition must be made from a consular office abroad.
This requirement can be particularly troublesome for individuals who were residing in the United States illegally before they became eligible to petition for legal residency. Depending on how long the person remained undocumented in the U.S., he or she could be barred from reentering the country for between three and 10 years. Immigrants who can show that the separation would present an undue hardship for their families can apply for a waiver to shorten this separation period, but they have to leave the United States to apply and there is no guarantee that the waiver will be granted when they do.
In too many cases, this rule left immigrant families facing a very difficult choice--either the undocumented person would remain in the U.S. (risking deportation and everything that comes with it) or they would leave the U.S. and take the chance of being separated from their loved ones for up to a decade.
Provisional waiver system
Starting in March 2013, undocumented immigrants seeking family-based legal permanent residency will be able to apply for a provisional hardship waiver
before leaving the United States. Applicants will still have to leave the U.S. in order to obtain an immigrant visa from a consular office, but they will be able to do so with the knowledge that their period of separation will be short.
The provisional waivers are available to immigrants who can show that an extended separation would present an undue hardship to their U.S. citizen spouse or parent. In addition, the immigrant's unlawful presence must be the only thing preventing him or her from legally reentering the United States.
More immigration reforms coming
The provisional waiver program is just one in a package of immigration reforms being proposed by the Obama administration. Hopefully, these reforms will translate into a friendlier environment for immigrants in the United States.
Of course, immigration reform is a complicated subject, and policy proposals by the president do not carry the same weight as Congressionally-enacted changes in the law. If you or a loved one is attempting to immigrate to the United States -- or is living in the U.S. undocumented and seeking legal status -- it is important to have a skilled advocate on your side. Talk to an experienced immigration attorney who can help you understand your options.
Article provided by Robichaud, Anderson and Alcantara P.A.
Visit us at www.robichaudlaw.com---
Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com
# # #Read more Press Releases from FL Web Advantage: