Wait for Illegals with US Spouses
An estimated hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants married to US citizens will soon have an opportunity to become legal residents without having to serve a years-long punishment.
President Obama proposed the policy change in January 2012 and it is scheduled to go into effect March 4.
The change was proposed to end situations in which illegal-immigrant spouses (and often parents) have to return to their native countries to serve the "ban of admission" – as long as 10 years for staying illegally in the United States for more than a year.
Applicants must show that leaving the US for an extended period would create "extreme hardship" on their legal spouse, like having to cope with a major illness or caring for a special-needs child.
Under the process, applicants would still have to first prove to the federal government that they are in a legitimate marriage. Then they can apply for the waiver without leaving the US
If the waiver is approved, the applicants can return to their native country to go through a green-card interview process, then return to the US to wait for weeks – not years – for the waiver approval. Once the waiver is approved, they can apply to the State Department for a visa.
The 10-year punishment is part of law passed by Congress in 1996 to discourage illegal immigration.
The president made the policy changes ahead of his second-term effort to pass comprehensive illegal-immigration reform.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 01/30/2013
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