The current immigration system permits U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to petition for their close family members to join them in the United States. Based on the closeness of the family relationship and whether the petitioner is a US citizen or legal permanent resident, waits can be as little as months or as long as 22 years.
Every year the government can allocate as many as 480,000 family visas, but it cannot exceed this cap. As a result, it is estimated that there are over 4 million people waiting to receive family visas. To learn more about family immigration, click here.
The Reuniting Families Act (S. 1085) would reform the family-based immigration system to end lengthy separations of loved ones, promote family stability and foster the economic growth that immigrant families have provided throughout our history.
S. 1085 would:
• Clear the lengthy visa backlogs which separate families for as long as 22 years.
• Expedite the reunification process for spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents.
• Recapture unused family visas previously allocated by Congress and allow them to be used in the future.
• Give the government authority to ameliorate hardships faced by families who might otherwise be forced apart by current immigration laws.