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Every year, a large portion of immigrants work through a family-based immigration process in order to immigrate to the United States or adjust their status in the U.S. based on their familial relationship with a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident. These familial relationships can be based on being an “Immediate Relative” of a U.S. Citizen or having another close relationship to a U.S. Citizen. Persons who also have a familial relationship with a Permanent Resident may also be able to adjust their status through a family-based immigration status.  “Immediate Relatives” refers to the parents, spouses and children (who are unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen.

Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen can immigrate to the United States without being subject to any numerical restrictions, unlike other close family members of U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents. Namely, they can apply for the permanent resident status without having to deal with any waiting time. Other close family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are divided into several groups called “Preferences”. Each Preference is given a numerical quota per year to limit the number of immigrants admitted into the United States by country of origin. The higher the Preference, the quicker the alien will be eligible to receive a green card.

Spouses and unmarried children of a permanent resident can also apply for a green card. They are categorized as the “Second Preference” group of people who are eligible for immigration to the United States.

On June 26, 2013; the United States Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that the federal interpretation of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’ as legislated in Section 3 of ‘DOMA’ to that of strictly heterosexual unions was unconstitutional because it denied legally married same-sex couples their due process under the Fifth Amendment. As a result, same-sex couples now have all of the same rights for immigration.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.


You May Request DACA if You:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

 

*Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.

FAMILY IMMIGRATION

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Applicants for Family-Based Immigration Chicago, IL who are physically unable to comply with the English or civics requirements because of a physical or mental impairment may be excused.