Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Action Alert: Dems Abroad Says After Aug 15 Immigrating Relatives to the US becomes much harder

Dems Abroad is sending this around. Apparently the US immigration people have decided that processing visas for all but a couple of dozen countries with a USCIS office will not be able to use the local consulate for processing immigration visas, but instead will have to process them in Chicago at the central office. This is likely to reduce the speed of processing to a crawl.

Remember, there's a Dems Abroad get-together at Carnegies 7-9 pm Thursday!


Democrats Abroad
Dear DA Taiwan member,

THIS NEW RULE WILL AFFECT US IN TAIWAN. If you are married to a non-U.S. citizen or have children who are not U.S. citizens, an important rule change (Rule: http://www.democratsabroad.org/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=94024&qid=13094857) is about to take effect that will hamper your ability to move back as a family to the United States.

Whether you want to go to live in the US today does not matter.

Whether you have a foreign family now or not does not matter – your option of a quick return will be foreclosed forever as a result of this rule.

Immigration lawyers believe this change to immigration procedures will mean LONG delays (1-3 years) in getting approval to bring family members who are not U.S. citizens into the States to live permanently-- and while the application is pending, it will impede your non-American spouse's ability even to visit the USA.

Additionally, VISITOR VISA issuance will be restricted as a natural consequence of immigrant visas having long wait times. Consular officers will have to factor in possible circumvention intent by visitor visa applicants that have relationships to Americans where immigrant visas take a long time.

You may have already received the email below directly from Ken Sherman, Chair of Democrats Abroad worldwide--but this issue is so important that I wish to draw your attention to it--as many of our members in Taiwan will be affected.

This rule change goes into effect August 15th -- so those impacted may wish to take steps immediately to avoid being caught in what potentially may become bureaucratic nightmare. The reason for this rule change is, so far as we understand, a cost-shifting measure that has not been properly thought out.

If you intend to return to the US with your non-American spouse and children in the next year you should consult with a qualified US Immigration attorney before August 15th for information on how this change impacts you.

Democrats Abroad is seeking to clarify the situation and representations have been made to the top levels of the American government. It may be necessary to organize an action campaign to oppose this rule change -- and your support will be vital. If you are interested in this issue, please join the newly-formed Democrats Abroad Immigration Group here: http://www.democratsabroad.org/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=94025&qid=13094857 .

Members of Democrats Abroad are preparing a Fact Sheet and other tools such as petitions and sample letters.

We need to circulate this as a matter of urgency.

Please forward this email to any American friends, family or colleagues living abroad (anywhere!) married to non-U.S. citizens or with offspring who are non-U.S. citizens.

If you are affected personally and wish to join forces with others, please contact me or write to Immigration@DemocratsAbroad.org so that an action committee can be formed.

Kind regards,

Jason Echols
DA Taiwan Chair

email: dataiwan_chair@yahoo.com

See also here.
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Anonymous said...

So, what's the best way to contact the USCIS about this issue (I don't want to send an e-mail that's not going to be read).

That said, it's been getter harder and harder all the time to bring foreign relatives to the United States. My cousin who's trying to immigrate will probably still have to wait about 8 years to get a green card, and she started the application process right before the changed the rules in 2008 - rules which would have made it impossible for her to apply at all. Of course, one reason the wait for her is so long is that her mother has to get a green card first, and only then can her mother get a green card for her daughter). While my aunt at first said that she wasn't interested in moving to the United States, and that she was only applying for her daughter's sake, recently she's been saying that maybe she'll move to the United States when she retires, so it might have been a good thing she started the application while it was still possible (by the way, my aunt's eligibility is based on the fact that her sister, my mother, is a U.S. citizen).


Hopenchange said...

I love this new change. Make it harder for legal immigrants to visit the US while at the same time weighing new legislation to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants in the US. Good thing the Democrats are in charge, I guess.

STOP Ma said...

Not surprised. As I commented a few posts back, the Canadian Consulate now is handling Taiwanese education visas to Canada through HONG KONG!

Okami said...

I'm not terribly shocked by this. The US State Dept is useless and Congress almost tried to take away our foreign income exclusion amount a few years ago. It's not like anyone actually thinks of or cares about Americans living overseas.

Andrew Rathmann said...

As I recall, it took my wife and I about four months to get her green card (this was in 2008). The young guy at AIT who finally interviewed us seemed decent enough, and the whole thing was over within a few minutes. It just doesn't seem plausible that handling spouses and kids would be that much of a drain on their time and resources. I don't get it.