Future of F3 and F4 visas and well thougth Senate Bill S.744

Thứ Tư, 15 Tháng Năm 201300:00(Xem: 62858)
Future of F3 and F4 visas and well thougth Senate Bill S.744
There have been a lot of rumors and a lot of worrying about the future of F3 and F4 visas. The Senate’s new Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill S.744 aims at encouraging employment based immigration, so the F3 and F4 visa categories will see some big changes.

It is important to note that the S. 744 bill is far from becoming law. The Senate will have hearings throughout May to amend the bill. If the bill passes the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate as a whole, a separate Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill will be announced in the House of Representatives. The House bill will also have to be passed and combined with the Senate bill. Only after that, a new CIR bill will be presented to President Obama for signature. This bill is still many steps away from becoming law.

To be sure of normal processing for F3 and F4 visas in future, sponsors should act now and submit the petitions before there is any change in the law. If you submit F3 or F4 petitions before the law changes, no need to worry. They will be processed as usual. Changes will affect any petitions filed after the bill becomes law, starting on the date that President Obama signs the bill.

F3 Petitions for Married Children of US Citizens: The F3 category will continue after the new CIR becomes law, but it will be limited to petitions that are filed before the married child reaches 31 years of age. If the F3 petition is filed before the new law takes effect, there is no age limit.

F4 Petitions for Brothers and Sisters of US citizens: Eighteen months after the new CIR becomes law, S. 744 will completely eliminate the filing of new petitions under the 4th preference category of brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.

 Since these changes only apply to future petitions, if you are a U.S. citizen, the time to sponsor your married sons and daughters and your brothers and sisters is now, before the CIR bill becomes law.

 However, there is a surprise in the S.744. After the new CIR takes effect, if you sponsor your parents, your unmarried siblings under 21 years of age will be eligible to accompany your parents, without the need to file separate petitions for them and without the need to wait more than 10 years for their petition to become current.

 Another provision of the Senate’s S. 744 is that family members including siblings will be able to visit the U.S. for up to 60 days per year.

 Finally, the S.744 provides for Merit Based visas. Beginning on October 1, 2014, merit based immigrant visas will be available for F2B, F3 and F4 family-based petitions that were filed before the new law and have been pending for five years. In other words, F3 and F4 petitions filed before the new law can expect faster processing times compared to the present wait of ten years or more.

 This is going to be an Asian century in America. The creation of a merit-based system, start-up entrepreneur visas and more employment-based visas will hasten the immigration of many Asians to America. Many of them will be highly-skilled and educated and that will re-shape American demographics, cities and suburbs.

Q.1. I expect to become a US citizen next year, after the new CIR takes effect. My married daughter will be 35 years old by then. Is there any way I can file an F3 petition for her now and ask CIS to hold it till I become a citizen?
A.1. CIS cannot accept your F3 petition until you have a Certificate of Naturalization to attach to it. Unfortunately, your married daughter will not meet the new F3 eligibility rules.

Q.2. What is the reason for restricting F3 petitions and eliminating F4 petitions under the new CIR?
A.2. Congress wants to move the focus from family-based immigration to employment-based visas in order to attract immigrants who can contribute their skills to the American economy.

Q.3. Do you think that the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon will affect the issuing of student visas in Vietnam?
 A.3. I think the visas will continue to be issued as usual. The US government does not think that terrorists will come from Vietnam. However, student visa holders will be much more closely monitored after they arrive in the US to make sure they are studying full time, and they will need to confirm their status if they return home to Vietnam for a visit.

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