USCIS Proposes Change to Keep Families Together

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Friday it is introducing a change that will allow certain visa applicants to file their family unity waivers from inside the United States. Currently, the family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents must travel to a U.S. consulate in their home country to be interviewed after the petition for their visa is approved. But leaving the United States triggers a 3- or 10-year bar to re-entry to the country for many visa applicants, who must apply for a waiver of the bar from their home country, a process that can take months. Immigration advocacy organizations say the change announced Friday is a positive step toward keeping families together and avoiding prolonged periods of separation.