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Changes to the Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition process

You would more than likely find it nearly impossible to find someone in the United States, let alone here in Kentucky, who isn't aware of the current upheaval in immigration law going on in this country. Numerous changes already exist regarding certain laws and procedures, and if you are not aware of them, you could end up on the wrong side of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

When you received refugee or asylee status, you waited for the time when you could petition to bring your relatives into the country as well. If this happened within the last two years, you may have even gone through the process with an attorney in order to prepare. However, some things have changed recently that you may need to know before you embark on the process of filing a Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.

Changes in security measures

As of Feb. 1, the following security measures apply to following-to-join refugees and asylees even when processed from another country:

  • Certain stateless persons or nationals undergo vetting through classified databases.
  • Everyone undergoes full baseline interagency checks.
  • Following-to-join refugees or asylees must submit a Registration for Classification as Refugee at an earlier stage in the process.

Primary and family refugees and asylees already go through these processes.

Other changes and conditions you may need to know

The way that USCIS processes beneficiaries currently residing in other countries has changed as well. Failing to understand the changes and make the necessary adjustments in application processes and times could cause unnecessary delays. In addition, only children under the age of 21 and spouses may qualify for the Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition process.

Finding the support you need

Whether you fled persecution in your country of origin as a refugee or asylee, you may have left family behind that you now want to resettle here in the U.S. Your concern for them may make you anxious to get the process rolling in order to see them again and know they are safe.

Even so, in order to avoid future deportation or other adverse consequences, ensuring that you follow all of the legalities necessary is essential. Understanding U.S. immigration law has never been easy, and in the current political climate, it has only become more of a challenge. You may find that you increase your chances of successfully reuniting with your family members if you make use of experienced legal resources here in Louisville.

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