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

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Chicago-area immigrants hope reform will address visa issues

The last week has brought interesting and encouraging news for many throughout Illinois. Right now, legislators are talking seriously about reforming our nation's broken immigration system. As a result, immigrant groups in Chicago are happy that specific issues relating to visas and permanent residency might finally be addressed.

Most of the national immigration debate has focused on undocumented immigrants that cross over the U.S.-Mexico border. However, federal statistics show that up to 10 percent of undocumented immigrants are from Asia. A large share of these individuals have overstayed their visas through no fault of their own, so focus much of the reform that focused on Latin American immigration doesn't impact their cases.

Many individuals and families are simply waiting for their applications for legal status to be processed by immigration officials. Unfortunately, a large number of visas expire while people simply waiting for a response from federal officials, which certainly puts them in a state of limbo. Renewed reform efforts have many Asian-American immigrants in the Chicago area hopeful that this massive backlog will finally be addressed and put thousands on the path to legal residence.

Another issue of particular concern to Filipino immigrants is that of family reunification. Filipinos have had to wait the longest of any ethnic group to become reunited with their family members. In fact, processing of certain reunification applications for Filipino families is backed up all the way to requests that were submitted in 1989.

As the legislative session moves forward, the hope is that reform efforts are truly comprehensive, in that they will address the needs of all immigrants, rather than segmented groups. In the meantime, people who wish to resolve an expired visa and obtain permanent resident status could benefit from exploring all available options under current immigration laws and policies.

Source: Chicago Public Media, "Asian-Americans hopeful on immigration reform," Odette Yousef, Jan. 29. 2013

  • Our firm has worked with Illinois families to achieve permanent-resident status. To find out more, please visit our Chicago immigration visa 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