Florida residents may be interested in immigration visa requirements for family members. Family-based visas depend on the relationship the petitioner has with the individual, and whether the petitioner is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Immigration law differentiates between immediate family and remote family in terms of limitations on the visas allowed each year. Priority status is different based on whether the sponsor is an LPR or a U.S citizen.
When a U.S. citizen who lives in Florida wishes to marry a non-citizen foreign national, he or she is able to bring their fiance to Florida in order to get married. One way, other than a tourist visa, in which a foreign fiance can legally enter the country in order to marry is a K-1 visa, which is a type of non-immigrant visa specifically geared towards foreign fiances.
The United States has developed a series of family immigration laws and processes that allow permanent residents to help an overseas relative become permanent U.S. residents. One can petition on behalf of a spouse or unmarried children, regardless of the children's age. If the resident is a U.S. citizen, married children can be sponsored as well.
Approximately 3,000 Cubans fleeing to Florida have been picked up by U.S. authorities so far in 2014, according to reports. That number has nearly doubled since 2013. Throughout the last two decades, more than 26,000 people have attempted to reach Florida by sea since the Cuban humanitarian crisis.
The increased stream of unaccompanied minors into the United States in the last two years has resulted in an overload of work for the non-profit agencies in Florida that provide assistance to these children. In many cases, these organizations are endeavoring to reunite children with family members who have previously come to the country. In other cases, they are assisting those who have migrated to escape dangerous situations in their home countries. Miami is one of the areas releasing the greatest number of these young immigrants to sponsors, who are, in most cases, relatives.
It’s been nearly one year since the news came out here in Miami and throughout the rest if the U.S. that the Senate had sent legislation to the House that was full of sweeping immigration reforms. Among the issues addressed in this bill were strengthening security at the borders, granting more work visas, and providing a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in here. Yet since being sent to Congress, the bill has bogged down, with House Republicans leery that the bill could seriously increase unemployment.
While the issue of immigration reform is left to politicians to debate, the impact is felt most by the families in Miami who deal with the uncertainty of their residency on a daily basis. While many immigrants coming to the United States are in search of better opportunities, countless more are simply trying to be reunited with their families. This need to be together with those they love has led many to bypass the process of filing for family visas altogether. While this may reunite them with their loved ones, the solution is only temporary, due to the possibility that any undocumented immigrant faces of being discovered and deported.
Many of the immigrant families living in Miami and throughout the rest of the United States may have family members who are undocumented. Circumstances may eventually compel some of these undocumented family members to return to their countries of origin; others may be forced to leave through deportation. Reuniting these families again down the road may be difficult, as many of those members who leave are not allowed to return.
As federal lawmakers continue to work towards a compromise on immigration reform, immigrants in Miami and throughout the rest of the country continue to wonder what the future holds for them and their families. While the federal government makes a certain number of family visas available each year, individual cases can remain backlogged for years. Many may feel that they simply can’t wait that long. It’s currently estimated that as many as 50,000 people attempt to enter the country on their own every month. While being undocumented carries the risk of deportation, many feel it’s worth it to keep their families together.
The stress placed on Miami families facing immigration issues can be extreme as they try to cope with idea that at any moment, those family members who are undocumented immigrants could face deportation. Such concerns often deter many from actively seeking proper residency status as they fear that if their status as an illegal immigrant is discovered, they could face detention and deportation. Those subjected to such action can attest to the notion that actually deporting someone to their country of origin is rarely easy.