Immigration Reform – and Government Slowdowns - Ahead!
START NOW TO AVOID THE DELAYS!
Immigration reform is coming! No one knows for sure what form it will take, but one thing is for sure – it will drastically increase the workload of the US immigration agencies. New filings and new regulations are certain to increase processing times by months, or even years.
Twelve Ways to Prepare for Reform Even if You are “Legal”
When there is immigration reform, workloads of the US immigration agencies are drastically increased. The wait in “line” to get a green card (based on priority dates) will become ever-longer.
You should be preparing now to take advantage before any big change! Here are some specific strategies to help you make the process as fast as possible:
1. Employers and employees: If you have not started the labor certification process, start the process now! The current DOL processing time is a mere 2-3 months (if the file is not selected for audit). That means you could go from zero to having an approved I-140 petition in six to eight months, depending on case preparation requirements. More importantly, secure your priority date, which determines how quickly you will receive your green card, now!
2. Researchers, professors, and other “fast-track” green card applicants: Start your green card process now while processing times are reasonable. The current processing time for the NIW or EB-1 is a mere four months at the Texas Service Center, and four months for the EB-1 at the Nebraska Service Center (a little longer for NIWs filed at Nebraska). That means you could have the I-140 petition approved, and possibly even the green card, within 4-6 months from the date of filing.
3. For family-based filings: Whether your family member is in the US or abroad, by starting the processing now, you may shave months or even years off the wait. Note: in some cases you can even start the process for family members who are in the US without immigration documentation. Speak with an experienced immigration attorney before beginning the process.
4. Permanent residents: If you have family members that you may want to sponsor now or in the future,consider becoming a naturalized citizen as soon as you are eligible. In many instances, US citizens can sponsor relatives that permanent residents cannot. In other instances, the process is faster for relatives of US citizens. Remember, the naturalization process itself will take at least a few months, so prepare ahead of time by starting the process now.
If you or a family member is in the US without documentation, and are thinking of filing for an immigration benefit when there is a change in the laws (reform), you can do the following to prepare now. You can also take these steps, even if you already have immigration status, but need to apply for permanent residence:
Remember, if you are eligible to start the green card process now, you can save yourself months or even years by starting now, before there is a change in the process.
Contact our immigration team at firstname.lastname@example.org to set a consultation to discuss the best strategy for you!