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US Visas for Parents of US Citizens

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to be discussing U.S. visas for parents of United States citizens. This comes up in context of U.S. Immigration rather frequently with respect to, essentially you've got people born abroad, they get a visa to the United States, be it you know family-based due to they married somebody, an American citizen or lawful permanent resident, or they come into the United States in an employment-based capacity and eventually adjust their status to a green card holder and then eventually go through the naturalization process to United States citizenship. After the fact of naturalization, they become a U.S. citizen, they are then at that point able to petition for immigration benefits for their parents.

So parents of U.S. citizens are about at the top preference category, if you will, for getting a visa to the United States which means they process in much the same way that the spouse of the United States citizen will process through the system; relatively more quickly than virtually any of the other categories. That being said, there has been legislation proposed in the United States most notably recently, the so called Raise Act under President Trump's Administration and the provisions of this will likely create a different set of definitions with respect to those alien relatives of U.S. citizens who are going to be eligible for immigrant visa benefits, and most notable amongst this is recent proposals have suggested that parents of the United States citizens may no longer fall into the top-tier category with respect to immigration benefits if they fall into any immigrant category at all. It seems like what the administration seems intent upon doing is creating somewhat less stringently scrutinized or stringently processed categories, so easier to obtain visas for parents of American citizens but not visas that confer lawful permanent residence upon entry to the United States of America a.k.a. green card status; this would seem to be part and parcel with the notion that certain aspects of the Immigration Nationality Act are somewhat outdated. My personal opinion of this is even when comprehensive immigration reform was being discussed under the Obama administration, there was some discussion about in some ways tweaking the parent subcategory, parent preference category, with respect to U.S. immigration in such a way that not quite as high a priority would be placed on those individuals. Although in all of my readings, it was always kind of implied and I never exactly saw where things stood with respect to exactly how they were going to deal with parents of U.S. citizens. But that being stated, those who are seriously considering bringing a U.S. citizen or bringing a parent of a U.S. citizen to the United States, should really seriously think about doing so now as applying prior to the passage of this Raise Act, which I think is fairly probable to obtain the necessary majorities and signature by the President to be enacted, if one gets their petition in prior to the enactment it seems logical to infer that those applicants will be “grandfathered” in under the old rules and able to process through as they would have under the old rules notwithstanding a later rule change. Now that may not prove to be the case but it remains to be seen, but I think it's fair safe to assume we're not going to see them sort of doing something ex post facto for a lot of different reasons, most notably it’s mentioned in the Constitution that ex post facto laws are, strictly speaking, illegal.

But that being said, I think it's fairly safe to assume that folks are going to be “grandfathered” in if they get their applications in prior to the rule change. But after the rule change, it remains to be seen what this is going to look like. So it remains to be seen exactly how parents of U.S. citizens are going to be treated in the event that there's a fundamental change in definitions associated with the Immigration Nationality Act or the Immigration Nationality Act is sort of uprooted sort of root and branch and replaced by an entirely new legislative regime.