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Obtaining family visas could become problematic

It would be a challenge to find anyone in New Orleans who is not already aware of the immigration law changes taking place here in the United States. More than likely, the administration will push for even more changes this year. One area where significant changes could be on the horizon is in family visas.

The current administration has talked about eliminating what it dubs as "chain migration" in which a U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsors the immigration of other family members from another country. In fact, it already seems to be happening. The number of family visas issued in 2017 dropped to the lowest level the country has seen in about 10 years.

Now, the administration is pushing Congress to outlaw the practice of giving extended family members priority for family visas. It is claimed that sponsoring relatives whose relationship to the citizen or green card holder is not a close one may threaten national security. The administration wants to stop this practice. The problem is that every individual who wants to enter the country goes through a vetting process. Simply having a relative living in the U.S. does not guarantee automatic entry for another family member.

New Orleans residents trying to obtain family visas may find it difficult to obtain them, but that does not necessarily mean it is impossible. It may be necessary to work with an immigration law attorney to review all of the available options. Having assistance in filling out forms and making a case for a relative to enter the country could make the difference between receiving a family visa and being denied one.

Source: Reuters, "Fewer family visas approved as Trump toughens vetting of immigrants: Reuters review," Mica Rosenberg, Jan. 4, 2018

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