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New policy may quicken green card process for Haitians

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Immigration issues often entail a great deal of time waiting for approval and then waiting for final paperwork. This is true particularly for obtaining a green card. A new policy hopes to reduce the wait time for Haitians awaiting a green card to live and work here legally. Any Haitian immigrant in Maryland who has family awaiting access to the United States may want to learn more about the program.

As it stands now, people who are already citizens or permanent residents may apply for a green card on behalf of relatives still in Haiti. There are currently over 100,000 relatives approved for the residency visa. However, the wait time is extensive, and some people wait for around a dozen years to receive the documentation.

The new program will let those who were approved and scheduled to receive the visa within two years to essentially come over and live and work in this country while they wait for their final status. A similar measure pertaining to family reunification was adopted for Cuban families who had relatives already in the United States. It is estimated that thousands will be eligible for early entry into the country.

Immigration reform of any kind can take an extensive amount of time to approve and pass through political hurdles. Implementing the new reforms may also be a lengthy process. Anyone in Maryland who has family awaiting a green card may benefit from learning more about the different wait times or options for family members from certain countries, such as Cuba and Haiti.

Source: The New York Times, "Obama Administration to Expedite Family Reunification for Some Haitians", Erik Eckholm, Oct. 17, 2014

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