Articles Posted in Family-Based Immigration

Published on:

Social_Support_for_Underprivileged_Children_and_Victims_of_Trafficking.jpgImmigration law allows the spouses and children of a direct beneficiary of an immigrant petition to accompany the direct beneficiary to the U.S. and receive their own green cards as dependent beneficiaries. To immigrate as a spouse dependent beneficiary is fairly easy. The marriage must have been created before the direct beneficiary received the green card. However, immigrating as a child dependent beneficiary can be a bit tricky.

To immigrate as a child dependent, the individual must meet the definition of “child” that is outlined in immigration law, meaning the individual must, at the time the parent receives the green card, be both unmarried and under 21 years of age. Meeting the marital status requirement is clearly easy, but meeting the age requirement could prove difficult because it would take several years for the parent to receive the green card. Even if the immigrant petition was filed before the child turned 21, it has been common for the child to turn 21 while waiting for the green card. If this happened, the child was no longer considered a child for purposes of being a dependent beneficiary because the child had “aged out.”

Thankfully, the U.S. Congress recognized the unfair result of the aging out problem and passed the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) in order to fix this problem. The CSPA allows potential child dependent beneficiaries to “freeze” their ages to protect their eligibility for immigration benefits, no matter how long it takes for their parents to receive their green cards.
Continue reading

Published on:

1392509_rainbow_flag.jpgSince the immigration reform bill was introduced, several senators have proposed their own amendments to the legislation seeking to enhance the immigration-related rights for their constituents. Senator Patrick Leahy (VT-D) is no exception. Senator Leahy introduced an amendment that, if passed, would have granted gay Americans the right to sponsor their foreign national same-sex partners for a marriage-based green card.

However, Senator Leahy withdrew his amendment from consideration early last week. The Senator stated he did so “with a heavy heart” and that he will continue to strive to integrate same-sex immigration rights into future legislation.

The Same-Sex “Poison Pill”

Although there are currently an estimated 30,000 same-sex couples living in the U.S., and recent public opinion polls state that the majority of Americans support gay rights, Republicans referred to Senator Leahy’s amendment as a “poison pill,” threatening to halt immigration reform in its entirety if the amendment stayed on the table.
Continue reading

Published on:

by Slowik & Robinson, LLC

s-r law family immigrationThe U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) loves to extol the virtues of keeping immigrant families together.  On its webpage on obtaining a green card through a family member, the agency states: “To promote family unity, immigration law allows permanent residents of the United States to petition for certain eligible relatives to come and live permanently in the United States.”

Well, that’s true. The agency DOES allow lawful permanent residents–LPRs, or green card holders–to petition to bring family members to the U.S. and get those members green cards.  The catch?  There are only 226,000 visas available each year.