Immigration Law Updates: Navigating Recent Policy Changes
When you receive your naturalization certificate, you will eventually get around to daydreaming about all the things you can do now that you have U.S. citizenship, such as traveling with a U.S. passport, voting in elections, sponsoring your parents’ immigration to the United States, running for public office, and passing on your U.S. citizenship to your future children. The prevailing feeling while you are on your way home from the naturalization ceremony, however, is relief. You have spent the past few years hoping that nothing goes wrong before you get your citizenship, that you did not make a mistake on a form years ago that USCIS will discover at the last minute, or that you did not unknowingly break the law. The best way to avoid mistakes, delays, and stress in your immigration process is to work with a Tempe immigration lawyer.
Immigration Law Updates: What’s With the Long Wait Times?
United States citizens have the right to sponsor their family members for immigrant visas. If your spouse and minor children are not in the United States already, you can file a petition for immigrant visas for them as soon as you get your citizenship. You can also do this for your parents, siblings, and adult children. Many U.S. citizens are in the process of sponsoring the immigration of family members, and the government only issues a limited number of visas per year. Therefore, the wait times are long. Spouses and minor children of petitioners get priority, followed by parents of petitioners. Therefore, you may have to wait several years after you submit the application before your sibling or adult son or daughter gets a visa. If your family member is in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, such as a visitor visa or student visa, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer to find out whether your family member is eligible for adjustment of status.
Temporary Protected Status
If you are applying for asylum orTemporary Protected Status (TPS), it is important to work closely with an immigration lawyer for the entire time that you are in the U.S. as an asylee or TPS beneficiary. TPS is available to citizens of countries that are experiencing prolonged political instability. As of September 2023, there are 16 countries on the list. The deadline for when to apply to renew your TPS status varies from one country to another. The TPS rules change often enough that it is a good idea to remain in continuous contact with an immigration lawyer to make sure that you are in compliance with the current version of the law.
The U.S. offers a limited number of immigrant visas each year to investors whose investments will create employment opportunities within the U.S. The required investment amount for an investor visa changes from one year to the next, as do the projects to which the investments contribute. As of 2023, the investment amount is usually less than $1 million. If your investor visa is approved, you can also apply for immigrant visas for your spouse and your children under the age of 21.
What if You Entered the Country Without a Visa?
It is difficult, but not impossible, to get an immigrant visa if you enter the United States under undocumented status. Policies regarding undocumented immigrants also change quickly. This year, federal law made it more difficult for people who entered the United States without a visa to apply for asylum, even though many of them would otherwise meet the requirements for asylum eligibility.
Creating a path to immigrant visa status for people who entered the United States without immigration documents has been a matter of public discussion for decades. Earlier this year, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez of California introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act. Among its provisions is a new immigration category called Lawful Prospective Immigrant Status. People who entered the country undocumented would be eligible to apply for this status after passing a background check. If they were to successfully maintain Lawful Prospective Immigrant Status for five years, namely by keeping their status active and abiding by all federal and state laws, they would be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Contact Singular Law Group About Immigration and Naturalization
An immigration attorney can help you navigate the immigration process so that you can successfully maintain your visa status, apply for permanent residency or naturalization, and sponsor the immigration of your family members. Contact Singular Law Group PLLC in Tempe, Arizona to set up a consultation.
A Tempe immigration lawyer can help you apply for asylum, investor visas, or adjustment of status and petition for the immigration of your family members.