Integrity Legal

30th October 2009

The United States of America is a nation founded by Immigrants and the descendants of Immigrants. US Family Immigration is one of the most important aspects of the American Immigration system as it helps bind multinational families to the United States of America. In a recent article in the Immigration Impact blog, issues correlating to US Family Immigration were discussed at length. Below are some of the ideas conveyed regarding the system of bringing families together in the USA:

The U.S. immigration system has always promoted family unity by awarding the majority of visas to the families of current U.S. residents, which ensures that close family members are not kept apart. The principle of family unity has long been a central tenet of our immigration laws and has contributed to the economic and social prosperity of our country and immigrant populations.

Even though the USA was founded by Immigrants, today relatives of those in the United States of America must wait years, and sometimes decades, in order to be reunited with their loved ones. More from Immigration Impact:

For instance, the average current wait time for spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents (green card holders) is five years, and the wait time for adult children of U.S. citizens is six years for those still single and eight years for those who have married. Siblings of U.S. citizens must wait between ten and eleven years.

This article went on to note the benefits that Immigrants bring to the US economy. When prospective immigrant from around the world are free to bring their families to the USA they are more likely to melt into the “melting pot,” that is an inexorably part of American culture. Failing to allow family members of these immigrants to come to the US creates a situation in which large amounts of capital depart the United States as Immigrants in the USA must send money abroad to support families who cannot get into the US. There have been some attempts in the past to alleviate these problems, but as this article points out:

Despite the demographic shifts created by various immigration reforms over the years, there has been no substantial adjustment of our family immigration laws in the last 20 years. The broken system has left an estimated 4 million close family members of U.S. citizens and green card holders—potential Americans who would be a tremendous asset to this country—stuck in visa backlogs.

It should be noted that this is not the situation for fiancees and spouses of US Citizens. Luckily, spouses and fiancees of US Citizens are given priority and do not need to wade through the quota system which applies to other types of family based immigration categories. Currently, the K1 fiance visa, K3 marriage visa, and the CR1 visa are processing through the system in approximately: 7, 9, and 11 months respectively.


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