According to a recent CNN article, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) has announced a welcome change as to how immigration petitions for undocumented immigrants are handled.
Currently, undocumented immigrants who filed petitions are not eligible to adjust status to permanent resident in the United States, and are forced to return to their native country to apply for an immigrant visa.This process could take up to a year, and families in this situation also faced the real possibility that if the immigrant visa application is denied, the undocumented immigrant would not be allowed to re-enter the US for up to 10 years.
The new rule that will take effect allows undocumented immigrants to apply for the immigrant visa while remaining in the US, and if the visa is approved, the immigrant would still have to leave the US to finish up the process, but the separation time would be greatly reduced.
There are some limitations with this new rule so far. The new rule only applies to undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives (spouses, parents, children) of US citizens, but it still represents an exciting change that keeps families together while their case is pending. If you have a family member in this situation, please call us