NEWS

New Green Card Immigration Process in the United States to Promote Family Unity

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a new initiative aimed at promoting family unity and stability in the immigration process and providing a path to legal permanent residency (or green card status). This announcement aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to keeping families together and addresses significant challenges faced by noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be considered for this new process, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Presence in the U.S.: Must be physically present in the United States without admission or parole.
  • Residency Duration: Must have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.
  • Marital Status: Must have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.
  • Safety and Security: Must have no disqualifying criminal history and not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
  • Discretionary Merit: Must merit a favorable exercise of discretion based on individual circumstances.

Noncitizen children of eligible spouses may also qualify for parole under this process if they meet specific criteria related to their physical presence and relationship status.

To be eligible for parole and eventual legal permanent residency (green card status), an individual must be physically present in the United States without admission or parole and have a qualifying stepchild relationship to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024. They will need to file a form with USCIS, provide supporting documentation, pay a fee, and wait for the application period to begin later this summer. USCIS will then review each request on a case-by-case basis, considering factors like immigration and criminal history, background checks, national security and public safety vetting, and any other relevant information to determine if parole should be granted. Strong measures will be in place to prevent fraud and maintain program integrity.

Application Process

DHS will soon publish a Federal Register Notice to provide detailed guidance on the application process, forms, fees, and other requirements. The application process is expected to begin later this summer. Individuals are advised not to submit applications before the official start date, as early filings will be rejected.

Preparing for the Application

 

Applicants should gather evidence such as:

 

  • Proof of continuous presence in the U.S. for 10 years.
  • Documentation of a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen.
  • Additional favorable discretionary factors.

 

Additional Actions by DHS

Employment-Based Nonimmigrant Visas:

In collaboration with the Department of State, DHS will facilitate certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas for eligible individuals, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients (Dreamers) and undocumented noncitizens who have graduated from accredited U.S. institutions. This policy aims to provide U.S. employers with the confidence to hire needed talent efficiently.

Employment Authorization:

Individuals granted parole under this new process will be eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) immediately upon approval. Further details on applying for an EAD will be included in the forthcoming Federal Register Notice.

The new DHS process to promote family unity marks a significant step in supporting noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens and their families. By allowing these individuals to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card status) without leaving the United States, the initiative aims to reduce hardship and uncertainty for thousands of families. For further information and updates, individuals are encouraged to monitor USCIS announcements and prepare the necessary documentation in anticipation of the application process starting later this summer.

For more detailed guidance and to stay informed on the latest developments, please visit the USCIS website.