Policy change should make family immigration easier

Bringing loved ones to the United States is one benefit of being either a citizen or permanent resident. Family immigration is important for reuniting loved ones, especially spouses who are not able to live in the same country. While sponsoring a spouse’s immigration to Louisiana has worked pretty well in the past, it might be much easier moving forward.

A person has to get a green card before he or she can travel to the U.S. to live with a spouse. However, green cards issued to these individuals are conditional. The green cards expire after two years, at which time the couple must have to prove that their marriage is valid and not just a way to help another person immigrate.

But marriages do not always last, and some couples divorce before the two years are up. In this situation, an immigrant is supposed to file a petition for the process called Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage, and apply for a new green card. Some people either forget to do this or do not even know about it. When this happens, he or she has to have a judge affirm that his or her status of conditional permanent resident — CPR — is terminated.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services frequently fails to provide evidence of the CPR to courts. When this happens, immigrants cannot apply for a new place of residence or even renew their old one. A new USCIS policy addresses this problem. Immigrants who are filing adjustment of status applications will not have to wait for a judge to affirm their CPR statuses before they can move forward with the process.

This is an important change. Even though it may seem pretty straightforward, family immigration is complicated, and many government agencies do not fulfill their responsibilities for transferring information. This policy change should help immigrants living in Louisiana when they need to file for an adjustment of status.