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USA Immigration of non-USA family: rules change

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This is from Democrats Abroad:


We wanted to let you know about a Rules change that may affect you and your non-American family member's ability to return to the United States.


Effective August 15, 2011, most Americans will no longer be able to use the US Consular Sections in your country of residence for immigration matters. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will require that you petition directly with the USCIS in the United States to bring your foreign family with you when choose to move back to the US. (form I-130,Petition for Alien Relative).


This USCIS regulatory change is billed as a cost-cutting measure. We are delving into this issue to find more concrete information to provide our members with regard to this critical rule before it goes into effect. We have a long-standing commitment as Democrats Abroad to simplifying the path to citizenship and legal permanent residency for non-American spouses and close family members. We are working to get more information and pass this information along to our members.


Approximately 10,000 Americans living abroad would be immediately impacted by this ruling. According to Immigration lawyers this process will go from weeks to quite possibly years for those Americans who reside in the 172 countries that do not have USCIS offices. Until Aug. 15th, we will be able to submit petitions through local Consular officials—after that date, all petitions would have to be sent to the USCIS Chicago address.


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 Rules change impacts you.


The official USCIS comment period for this change, announced in the Federal Register, ended July 18. However, if you wish to contact your US Representative or US Senator in this regard please do so. Despite the end of the formal comment period, the main office of USCIS

can also be contacted. Let us know if you contact either elected representatives or USCIS officials in this regard, with a copy of your message to actionagenda@ democratsabroad. org.


For more information on this issue be sure to join the Immigration Group on our website. Feel free to share this information with other Americans.


With best regards,

Kenneth E. Sherman

International Chair, Democrats Abroad

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Don't waste your time trying to change this--it is a done deal. It will add 3 - 6 months to the time to get a spousal based visa versus filing directly with the embassy, assuming you met all the residency requirements of CR for US citizens (this has NOTHING to do with CR permanent residency)(or any other country), but other wise there are no changes.

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