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Married children of U.S. citizens may soon be ineligible for green cards

Romish Badani

The window of opportunity for U.S. citizens to sponsor their married children for a green card might be closing. This past June the Senate passed an immigration bill that would, if approved by the rest of Congress, eliminate the opportunity for U.S. citizens to apply for their married children over the age of 31.

Under the current system over 23,000 married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens are permitted to receive a green card every year. This opportunity falls under the third of four family preference groups, the hierarchy which determines which family members get prioritized. The fourth family preference group for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens would also be eliminated if the Senate bill passes as is.

It is important to note that these new immigration laws have not yet gone into effect. Congress continues to debate and amend the bill, so it may take some time for immigration reform laws to pass. That being said most of those familiar with the discussions in Washington believe new laws will pass in the near future, as both sides of the political spectrum agree that the current immigration system is broken. Any applications received before the law is finalized (or perhaps shortly thereafter if a grace period is granted) will be processed by the government, while those received afterwards will be rejected. The added benefit of applying now is that you would be ahead of the many people who will apply after you in the immigration "line".

What does this mean for you? If you are a U.S. citizen with a married child in need of a green card, now is the time to apply. Waiting may mean losing this opportunity to reunite with your married children in the U.S.

Looking to confirm your eligibility for this opportunity? Interested in getting legal help without spending a fortune? LexSpot has developed an online tool to help applicants through the family visa process. Give it a try for free at http://lexspot.com.


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