S.744, CSPA, DOMA : All in one week

Thứ Hai, 01 Tháng Bảy 201300:00(Xem: 20943)
S.744, CSPA, DOMA : All in one week

Last week we saw three very important immigration events. In the Senate, there was a 68-32 vote in favor of the S.744 Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill. The House of Representatives will spend July in preparing their own version of an immigration reform law. Hopefully, a final version of the CIR will be available for the President's signature this Fall.

 In the Senate's version of the CIR, there are provisions for speeding up the processing of family based immigration cases, as well as providing more opportunities for skilled foreign workers and immigrant investors.

The biggest national news last week was the Supreme Court decision against the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). This means that same sex couples, legally married, are now eligible for immigration benefits. They will first have to find a state or country that allows same-sex marriage, and then they will have to provide extensive evidence of their relationship. This will be easier for couples who have been living together in the US for some time. In the case of a relationship of a Viet Kieu with a same-sex partner in Vietnam, there will have to be evidence of frequent communication, meetings, and commitment.

CSPA: Sponsoring children over 20 who were left behind in Vietnam. Last week the Supreme Court agreed to review the Child Status Protection Act. Until now, CIS has been saying that the parent of the child left behind must file an F2B petition after the parent arrives in the US. This would involve a wait of more than five years until the child could come to join the family in the US. A suit was filed against CIS last year, saying that the real intent of the law was to give the child in Vietnam the same priority date as on his parent's petition. In other words, the child would not have to wait for a long time after the parent arrived in the US. The child would reach the US in a year or less after his parent's arrival.

 This matter will be studied by the Supreme Court, though probably not till the Fall. In the meantime, it is possible that the CIR will settle the matter in favor of the children left behind.

 To many people, it seems that if the Supreme Court decided in favor of same-sex couples, they will also decide in favor of this type of family reunification case.


Q.1. What are some of the benefits of the S.744 for family-based immigration cases?

 A.1 The spouse and children of permanent residents will be moved to the immediate relative category, meaning that they will not have a waiting time. Such cases are usually completely processed within one year. Preference category visas that were reserved for the families of green card holders will then be available to other applicants, like adult children of US citizens and permanent residents, married children of US citizens and siblings of US citizens. This will reduce the waiting time for them.


Q.2. For same-sex couples, what kind of evidence of relationship will CIS rerquire?

 A.2. It will probably take CIS and US Consulates several months to decide how to evaluate same-sex immigration cases. Length of relationship and clear indicators of commitment will be the most important factors.


Q.3. According to the S.744, what will happen to F3 and F4 cases?

A.3. F3 cases of a citizen's married children will continue to be be eligible for the usual immigrant visa processing if the sponsor files the petition with CIS before the 31st birthday of the married child. For F4 cases, after the CIR takes effect, sponsors will have 18 months to file new petitions for F4 cases for siblings. After that, the F4 category will be eliminated.

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