Organizations push US to implement faster processing for immigrant families

Support migrant centric journalism today and donate

Several US pro-immigrant organizations are urging the Obama administration to implement a new procedure that would allow undocumented immigrant spouses and children of US citizens to remain in the country while their immigration application is processed.

Current rules require illegal immigrants to leave the country to adjust their status, a process that could take several years. On 6 January, President Obama and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), announced a proposal to change this policy to allow illegal immigrant spouses and children to remain in the US while their visa application is processed.

The new procedure, the waiver of the unlawful presence bar, aims to alleviate the extreme hardship that US citizens experience due to the prolonged separation from their family members, USCIS chief Alejandro Mayorkas said during the announcement.

"The proposed process change lessens the length of separation by reducing inefficiencies in the current immigrant visa process. USCIS believes that this proposed change will streamline the immigrant visa process for immediate relatives whose only ground of inadmissibility is unlawful presence," USCIS said in a statement. "USCIS plans to adjudicate the provisional waiver application in the United States before the immediate relative departs for his or her immigrant visa interview, which will reduce the length of time immediate relatives must spend abroad for consular processing."

The provisional waiver of the unlawful presence bar process would allow illegal immigrants to remain in the US with their US citizen spouse, child or parent while USCIS processes their waiver requests. It also would reduce the time US citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who must obtain an immigrant visa abroad to become legal immigrants of the US.

USCIS plans to publish their final decision on whether or not they will adopt the proposal in the coming months.

If you would like to apply for a US visa, can help. is a specialist visa consultancy with nearly twenty-five years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.