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Green Card Path for Undocumented Spouses & Stepchildren

The Biden administration has announced a significant immigration relief policy designed to provide a streamlined path to permanent residency for undocumented spouses and step-children of U.S. citizens. This landmark initiative aims to offer relief to hundreds of thousands of individuals who have been living in the United States for at least ten years. The policy is a major departure from previous practices, offering a more accessible and less risky route to legal status for qualifying individuals.

Eligibility and Benefits

This policy specifically targets undocumented spouses and step-children of U.S. citizens who have resided in the country for ten years or more. It eliminates the need for these individuals to leave the U.S. to apply for a Green Card, a process that was often fraught with uncertainty and potential for denial. Instead, eligible applicants can now pursue adjustment of status within the United States, reducing the risk of separation from their families and communities.

Key benefits of this new policy include:

  • In-Country Processing: This significantly reduces the risk of being denied entry back into the U.S. after leaving for consular processing abroad.
  • Work Authorization: Applicants can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a social security number while their application is pending, allowing them to work legally and contribute to the U.S. economy.
  • Protection from Deportation: This policy offers crucial deportation relief during the application process, providing much-needed stability and security for applicants and their families.

A Departure from Traditional Processes

Under previous immigration laws, individuals who entered the U.S. illegally faced significant barriers to obtaining a Green Card. Even with an approved family-based petition, they were often required to return to their home country for consular processing, which could trigger a re-entry bar and result in prolonged separation from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

This new policy circumvents these hurdles by allowing eligible individuals to apply for a “Parole-in-Place,” a form of legal entry that effectively waives the requirement to leave the country for consular processing. This opens the door to adjustment of status within the U.S., providing a more direct and less risky path to permanent residency.

spouses and step-children of U.S. citizens

Impact and Reach

It is estimated that this policy could potentially benefit hundreds of thousands of undocumented individuals, including both spouses and step-children of U.S. citizens. By offering a streamlined and accessible pathway to legal status, this initiative aims to strengthen families, promote integration, and contribute to the overall well-being of communities across the nation.

Additional Immigration Relief

In addition to this significant policy change, the Biden administration is also exploring additional avenues for immigration relief. This includes a potential work-visa program for DACA recipients and other undocumented individuals, as well as streamlined access to H-1B visas for high-skilled workers. These initiatives collectively reflect a broader commitment to creating a fairer and more inclusive immigration system.

If you or someone you know may qualify for this immigration relief, it is crucial to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your options and eligibility. Navigating the complexities of immigration law can be challenging, and seeking professional guidance can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.

To discuss how Oltarsh & Associates can assist you with your immigration needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at +1 212-944-9420 or through our website’s contact form.

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