UPDATE – THE VISA NUMBERS HAVE RETROGRESSED
F2A: Spouses and children of permanent residents (child = under 21 years and unmarried)
F2B: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older) of permanent residents
URGENT UPDATE!! ACT NOW!
The F2A (not the F2B) category, has seen a dramatic movement in the visa. The movement has dramatically REDUCED the wait time for spouses (including same-sex couples) and children of green card holders to in turn receive their green cards through the petitioning LPR in their family.
This is a very significant change as the average wait time has been reduced by several years for this category.
Under past visa bulletins issued by the Department of State (DOS), the average wait time was at least 4 years before either a spouse or child of an LPR could apply for their immigrant visa:
· April 2013 the wait time was over 3 years.
· F2A categories were ‘current’ from August 2013.
· May 2014 visa bulletin has a wait time from September 2013 (approx. only 7 month wait time).
What does this mean for you and your family?
Family reunification has been the principal policy underlying US immigration law. Current trends under the F2A category have dramatically reduced the wait time for a green card holder petitioning for either their spouse or child now takes them to receive their green cards.
However, we don’t know when the visa bulletin time frames will change, therefore you must act now!
The “Gang of Eight’s” comprehensive immigration reform bill is now at the starting line. It’s next hurdle is the Republican-led House of Representatives. You may ask, “…but what exactly is CIR? …And why should I care?”
There are a few very progressive proposals under the CIR Bill:
- Legalization: This permits those who are unlawfully present and who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011 to file for their green card and in the mean time fall under a new status called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). Eligible applicants would be required to pay a penalty and back taxes, but individuals in RPI status would receive work authorization and may travel abroad. They would also become eligible to apply for their green card after 10 years, and full U.S. citizenship 3 years after acquiring the green card.
- H-1B’s: Did you apply for an H-1B this year? Where you upset to see the lottery instituted? Many this year will miss out on the H-1B, not due to lack of merit or skill but simply due to the small number of these visas that USCIS is allowed to approve. CIR proposes to change all this by increasing the cap from 50,000 to 180,000 each year. ((quota to a floor of 110,000 and a ceiling of 180,000))). To add the icing on the cake CIR also aims to provide a 60-day grace period for those terminated while working under the visa and also providing work authorization for spouses of visa holders, something that is currently not permitted under the H-1B visa.
3. Fraud: If the CIR bill is passed into law it will make it a crime to knowingly defraud an immigrant or hold oneself out as an attorney when one is not authorized to do so.
On Tuesday, the group of senators known as the “Gang of Eight” introduced S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.”
Here are a few issues from S. 744 to note:
Permits noncitizens that are unlawfully present and who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011 to adjust status (file for their green card) to that of Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). Eligible applicants would be required to pay a penalty and back taxes. Individuals in RPI status would receive work authorization and may travel abroad. They would also become eligible to apply for LPR status after 10 years, and can apply for naturalization 3 years after acquiring a green card.
Increase the quota to a floor of 110,000 and a ceiling of 180,000. Provide work authorization for spouses (H-4) as currently not permitted to work. Add a 60-day grace period after an H-1B has been terminated from his or her job.
Make it a crime to knowingly defraud an immigrant or hold oneself out as an attorney when one is not authorized to do so. Require the identification of individuals who assist immigrants with the completion of forms and empower the Attorney General with injunctive authority to act against an unscrupulous “immigration service provider” at the federal level.