One of the lesser discussed aspects of President Obama’s unilateral initiative to reform the country’s immigration system involves the component which affects individuals currently enjoying or applying for lawful permanent resident status (LPR). Under current law, there are many situations in which family members get separated from the individuals who are American citizens or who have already achieved LPR status under American law.
The executive order the President announced in November of last year addresses this issue in at least two ways. First, it is not unusual currently for American citizens married to those applying for LPR status to have to wait excessive periods of time before the spouse can get a visa to come to the United States. This causes spouses and children less than 21 years of age to be separated for lengthy periods from their parent or spouse. The President’s order instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expand an existing program that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional waiver for certain violations before departing the United States to attend visa interviews.
Second, there are also situations in which individuals here in the United States awaiting approval of LPR status or certain temporary permission status cannot go back to their home country pending the finalization of their status. This problem prevents some family members from visiting parents and other family members and friends still living in their country of origin. The executive order seeks to have the DHS to clarify its guidance to provide greater assurance to individuals who are stuck in this “legal limbo”.
As these initiatives represent the less controversial aspects of the President’s initiative, they have not received much public attention. However, they could have significant impact on many people who could benefit from these changes. At this juncture, the specific rules have not been announced but it is expected announcements will be made during the next few or several months clarifying the changes.
The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States, including the manner in which parallel legal proceedings may impact immigrants.. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman's involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.