DHS Announces New Process to Promote the Unity and Stability of Families

Happy Family

In a significant move towards promoting family unity in immigration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced new measures under the Biden-Harris Administration. These actions aim to allow certain noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens who have resided in the United States for over 10 years to apply for lawful permanent residence without leaving the country. Previously, many noncitizens were required to leave the United States and await processing abroad, leading to extended periods of separation from their U.S. citizen family members, often with uncertain durations. This initiative addresses the prolonged separation faced by families due to current immigration laws, offering relief to an estimated 500,000 spouses and approximately 50,000 children.

Under these changes, eligible individuals must demonstrate a longstanding presence in the U.S., a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen, and meet other criteria ensuring they do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. This effort builds upon recent steps to strengthen family reunification, including parole processes for various nationalities and efforts to reunite separated families.

Details on the application process have not been announced. The Biden Administration has indicated that eligible applicants can enroll at the end of summer.

To be considered on a case-by-case basis for this process, an individual must:

  • Be present in the United States without admission or parole;
  • Have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024; and
  • Have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.

What Is the Affirmative Relief Announcement?

Qué es el Anuncio de Alivio Afirmativo del Presidente Biden

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