For any family, being separated for long periods of time can take its toll. Many undocumented immigrants live in fear of being taken away from their families and removed from the country. With the new family immigration policy that has been set into place, this no longer has to be the case.

One young married couple living near Los Angeles plans to take advantage of this new policy to avoid being separated from each other. The husband is a 21-year-old United States citizen; the wife is a 22-year-old native of Mexico who came to this country as a child. Like so many other immigrants, her family came to this country looking for something better. Her mother had died in Mexico of cancer and her father had come to Los Angeles to work and earn enough money to bring the girl and her siblings to the United States.

Now she wishes to obtain legal status through the new provisional waiver which will go into effect in March. She plans to travel to the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico with her husband to complete a visa interview and hopefully be granted permanent resident status.

Prior to the provisional waiver, undocumented immigrants that had been living in the United States were required to leave the country for a period of time before applying for legal resident status. Depending on the circumstances, some people had to wait outside of the country for up to a decade before their request was granted. Applicants are required to show that their spouse or family who are United States citizens would face extreme hardship if the applicant was forced to leave the country.

Undocumented immigrants who are interested in this waiver may wish to speak to an immigration attorney who can advise them on the best way to proceed.

Source: Ventura County Star, “Port Hueneme couple is relying on new immigration policy to stay together,” Stephanie Snyder, Feb. 23, 2013