The Law Office of Tony E. Parada Articles Senate Looking to Reduce Family Visa Program

Senate Looking to Reduce Family Visa Program

By The Law Office of Tony E. Parada  Mar. 19, 2013 3:58p

A bipartisan group of four Republican and four Democratic Senators is working on an immigration proposal which would change policies which have been in existence for generations. The new proposal would reduce the definition of "family" under the family visa program which allows citizens and lawful residents already in the U.S. to sponsor them for entry into the country. Currently, the family visa program gives spouses and the minor children of citizens top priority for visas, followed by spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters aged 21 and over of lawful permanent residents. The third preference category for family visas is for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor citizens. The fourth preference category is for the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizen is over 21 years of age. The new proposal would no longer permit married adult children and siblings to be part of the program.

The Senate proposal would, instead, make more room for visas for highly-skilled workers to be admitted to the country, changing the visa program into one based more on the country's economic needs. Those seeking to come to the U.S. who are in the proposed eliminated family categories could still apply for entry, but would require other qualifications to make them eligible for green cards, such as high-tech, training, or educational skills. The proposed change is expected to be presented as a bill soon.

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