As those who have waited for or currently are waiting to secure an immigration visa are probably well aware, it can take quite some time for the process to be complete. A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could make that wait even longer for some individuals. Those who may be impacted by the decision are children who are currently waiting to obtain a visa with their parents.
There is no question that individuals who qualify for deferred action were pleased when the program was announced. While some undocumented immigrants residing in South Florida have been able to take advantage of the benefits this program provides qualified individuals, there are many others still living in fear of deportation. Some of these individuals may have started the process of obtaining a green card but as a result of the length of time it has taken to process their visa request, have “aged out,” and been forced to return to the country where they were born. In some cases these individuals may not have been in those countries since they were very young children.
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.
As individuals in the Miami area who have applied for certain visas are likely aware, the wait can be a long one. Depending on one’s situation, in some cases individuals have been waiting for decades. Because of this, information found in the United States Department of State Visa Bulletin for August 2013, is of great interest to at least some of the people awaiting permission to enter the U.S. The bulletin indicates that petitioners in possession of green cards who are seeking visas for children or spouses should take action immediately. This is because the priority date for individuals seeking these F-2A visas is current.
As immigration reform is hashed out in the nation’s capital, some individuals interested in immigrating to locations such as Miami are working to proactively protect themselves from changes that could potentially make it more difficult to obtain a green card. One of those changes is the elimination of preferences when a family member seeks to get a green card. While certain groups of immigrants, such as those originally from countries in Asia, rely more heavily upon family visas to get to the U.S., currently, they are open to everyone.
Supreme Court rulings can have a far reaching impact upon individuals living throughout the country, not just those whose case is being reviewed. This is illustrated by one of the decisions rendered last week. The court’s ruling that a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly referred to as DOMA, was unconstitutional was a welcome decision for same-sex couples throughout the nation. The decision means that same-sex couples who were married in states in which such unions are legal are eligible to receive certain federal benefits to which heterosexual couples are entitled. Some of those rights could affect immigration matters as well.
Each year individuals from countries throughout the world decide to take the steps necessary to try to obtain a green card. Securing a green card makes it possible for those individuals to live and work in the United States legally, in cities such as Miami. There are a couple different ways a green card can possibly be obtained.
In our last couple of posts we have focused on immigration matters regarding certain types of workers. While many throughout the nation seem focused on passing new laws regarding employment immigration, there are likely many in the Miami area wondering what other options are available for those who do not meet that criteria. There are of course a variety of ways in which to approach obtaining a visa to the United States including those that are family based.
For many people living in Miami, seeking to obtain legal residency in the United States, the chosen path is via a green card. Unfortunately, as we have discussed in previous posts, the length of time it takes to secure a green card is quite long. This means that in some situations where young people have sought to immigrate under green card applications submitted by their parents, upon turning 21, the children lost their priority date. Those individuals then needed to reapply for green cards independently which effectively sent them to the back of the line.
While we will undoubtedly have updates in the upcoming weeks on how the deferred deportation application process is going, both in Miami and throughout the nation, this week we wanted to follow up on a story we first wrote about last month.