U.S. Law Center

Son waits 8 years to become citizen; had to start over again

Immigrants in Riverside are likely aware of just how long it takes to get your visa. Becoming a registered U.S. citizen is not an overnight process. In many cases, it may take years or even up to a decade to obtain citizenship.

A recent story has had people reconsidering the “age out” rule that has applied to immigrants for years. While both the Supreme Court and the Obama Administration agree that there should be very few exceptions for this rule, cases are getting more publicity which show why it may not be a good rule to keep around, especially with the current immigration system.

The “age out” rule essentially means that any child under 21 who turns 21 while waiting for citizenship will need to start over again from the back of the line. As one case shows, this can be a great additional struggle. One 13 year old boy started the wait with his mother but waited long enough that he turned 21. It was estimated that almost an entire decade could be added to his potential wait time after he was sent to the back of the line.

This sort of system may not seem fair to many, especially to those who wait a long time to get their visas only for the process to take too long. While some are working to remedy it, the Supreme Court has ruled that starting over will be mandatory in most cases. Therefore, if you believe that your child may be in danger of aging out, you may wish to talk to an attorney about quicker visa options.

Source: Latin Post, “Immigration Reform News 2014: Supreme Court Rules Most Children Who ‘Age Out’ While Waiting for Visas Must Start Over,” Selena Hill, June 9, 2014

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