Each month the Department of State issues a bulletin summarizing the availability of immigrant numbers for the upcoming month, and its September Visa Bulletin continues August’s trend with more good news.
In the August Visa Bulletin, the Department of State reported that green card holders could file visa applications under the F2A program for their spouses and minor children who are legally within the United States without a waiting time during the month of August. The process of applying for an F2A immigration visa for family members ordinarily takes more than 2 years, during which time the family members who are sponsored are not allowed to remain the United States.
The September Visa Bulletin announced that the F2A category (for spouses and minor children of permanent residents) continues to be “current” as it was in August. Accordingly, legal residents who want to sponsor a spouse and/or minor children who are legally within the United States can apply for legal residency for a spouse and/or dependents in September 2013 without a waiting period. Moreover, because the F2A category continues to be “current,” more applicants will be able to obtain consular appointments.
The September Visa Bulletin contained a number of other positive announcements, as well, most notably the following:
The EB3 category (for positions requiring less than an advanced degree) advanced from January 1, 2009 to July 1, 2010 for all countries except China, India, and the Philippines.
The EB2 for India continues to advance, from January 1, 2008 to June 15, 2008. China EB2 remained at August 8, 2008, but all other E visa applications are current.
As we previously urged, legal residents who want to sponsor legal residency for their spouses and/or minor children are urged to contact The Shapiro Law Group today to begin the application process. The fact that the F2A category is current, without any waiting periods, is a rare opportunity that will not last forever. While the F2A category is expected to remain “current” for all countries for the next couple of months, it is impossible to predict with certainty just how long the “current” status will last and many experts are predicting that the window of opportunity will begin closing later this year.
Even if a legal resident has already filed an F-2A petition, spouses and minor children who are under a petition by a green card holder, and who are legally within the United States are immediately eligible for adjustment of status, regardless of priority date.
The F2A visa application process can be confusing, but the Chicago family immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group are here to help. If you are interested in bringing your spouse or minor children to the U.S. under the F2A visa program, you will need to file a petition to sponsor an alien relative, known as an I-130 petition in the F2A category, and our Chicago immigration lawyers can assist you in doing so.
We can also assist those who are seeking to sponsor a same-sex spouse, provided that they are jurisdictionally covered by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, which recently extended immigration benefits to same-sex spouses under certain conditions.