There are multiple reasons that an individual may decide to seek a family-based visa to come to the United States. While these individuals may settle in communities throughout the nation, including Miami, Florida, a common thread behind many of these is that the applicants are seeking a better way of life. In some cases individuals make the move ahead of their loved ones, with plans to bring over family members once they are established. Unfortunately, this plan does not always work the way one hopes.
A native of Haiti, now living in the U.S., knows this all too well. The woman left her then 4-year-old son in Haiti, with her aunt in 2007. Her opportunity was the result of her father being granted asylum. The woman’s aunt died in the 2010 earthquake leaving her son with her uncle who she says is still recovering from the shock of losing his wife. Her son has since been approved for a family-based visa to the U.S. though he has yet to receive all of the documents necessary.
Unfortunately, the fact that the woman’s now 11-year-old son has been approved for a family-based visa, does not mean that she will have him in her arms anytime soon. This is because a wait of three years it is not uncommon for the off-spring of green card holders, such as the woman’s son.
Many people in the U.S. believe that kind of a wait for Haitians to come to the U.S. is too long. This is in large part because of living conditions in the country after the earthquake. Proponents of a shorter wait period would like a Haitian Family Reunification program to be created. Such a program could be created with only executive approval. Though there is no reason to think that the president is against such a program, there has not been any movement on the matter.
As this illustrates, the process of immigrating to the U.S. is a complicated one. Because of this, it is usually a good idea to work with an immigration attorney regarding these matters.
Source: Public Radio International, “Some Haitians left waiting for family-based visas to come to U.S.” Amy Bracken, Sept. 19, 2013