Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm
An Immigration law FIRM
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312-445-0591 800-264-2752

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Former Client

New federal policy will ease the challenges of family immigration

Many families in the Chicago area understand how difficult it is to deal with inconsistent immigration statuses among loved ones. For example, kids may have U.S. citizenship, but their parents do not; or one spouse has legal status, but the other does not. Not only is the process to obtain a visa inordinately complex, but those who wish to change their status have to leave their loved ones behind and travel back to their home country to submit specific paperwork. That is, until very recently.

Just after the turn of the calendar year, there was a helpful change to immigration policy. Undocumented immigrants who have close relatives with legal status are now able to stay in the county when they submit an "immigration-law waiver" in order to apply for a visa. Rather than being forced to uproot their entire life in the U.S. to submit the waiver, immigrants are now only required to submit visa applications abroad.

The biggest benefit of this policy change is that thousands of families will not have to worry about being separated for extended periods if waivers aren't approved. Once an undocumented immigrant leaves American borders, they are not allowed to legally re-enter for up to 10 years, depending on how long they were illegally in the country.

Although there is no clear estimate as to how many people this policy shift will affect, over 17,000 immigration-law waivers were approved, were received or remained pending during March 2012. Even though this change is a major relief to many people, it still does not ensure that a person will be allowed to live in the United States legally. The hope is that the thousands of families who are concerned about a loved one's immigration status can find lasting solutions as federal polices continue to change rapidly.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "IMMIGRATION: New rule means less time away from families," David Olson, Jan. 2, 2012

  • Our firm has experience keeping Illinois families united amid concerns of deportation. To learn more, please see our Chicago immigration page.

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions

1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions