US immigration reforms plan to eliminate petitions of brothers, sisters, adult children

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People around the world are actively following the news concerning comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), hoping that the Democrats and Republicans in Washington can work together and pass a law overhauling our immigration system, and possibly grant amnesty to illegal aliens in the U.S.

US immigration reforms plan to eliminate petitions of brothers, sisters, adult children

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that an influential Republican senator (Sen. Lindsey Graham) wants to eliminate certain family-based petitions, and reallocate their immigrant visa/green cards to highly skilled workers instead.

Under Sen. Graham's proposal, he would eliminate petitions for brothers and sisters of US citizens (F-4) and adult children (F-1 and 3). Only family petitions for spouses and minor children would remain (IR and F-2A).

He pointed out that he wants to focus on getting more skilled workers into the US and reserve family petitions only for spouses and minor children- not for siblings or adult children.

At the present time, approximately 65,000 visas/green cards are given to brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and another 46,800 immigrant visas go to adult children of US citizens, for a total of 111,800.

At the same time, 140,000 visas are available for skilled workers and investors. So, Sen. Graham believes the U.S. would benefit more by allowing more skilled workers and less brothers and sisters or adult children.

Again, this is only a proposal, and we don't know if it will become part of the law. I think it would be very difficult for the government to "revoke" petitions that have already been filed and approved.

Thus, if you have already petitioned your brother or sister, and it's been approved, I don't think Congress will "take away" that petition.

However, if you are still "thinking about" filing such a family-based petition, you may want to consult with an attorney about this option or other options.

Even though the waiting time may be long, it is sometimes better to "get in line now,” rather than being shut out or left out. I think it's a lot harder for the government to take away a petition that's already been filed than it would be to stop accepting new or additional family petitions. So maybe it might be better to file now before, or just in case there is a change in law.--By Michael J. Gurfinkel, Esq./Filipino Reporter


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