Citizens of the United States who are living in Los Angeles have the right to petition for their family members to receive green cards to come to live in the country. There are different categories and caps for the number of people given green cards according to the type of family relationship. Recently there has been talk of eliminating certain categories such as the visas for siblings category and putting restrictions on the ages of children for whom parents can file a petition. Many see this as a threat to families in favor of putting more emphasis on employment-based visas.

Last year, 58,235 immigrants came to the U.S. with a family-based visa in the sibling category. If this category is eliminated, it would have a significant effect on who could enter, and many worry it will have a negative effect on immigrant families and their businesses.

The threat of the sibling category being eliminated has urged some who have been considering filing for green cards to do so before any changes are made. This is the case for a new U.S. citizen who would like to have his older brother join him in the United States. The man is in the process of applying now, but the process could still take 12 years before his brother is granted a visa. The good news is that because he is applying now before any changes to the law are made, his application will still be honored.

If you are considering applying for a family-based visa for your family members, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney soon to get the ball rolling before any changes to the law take place.

Source: AZ Central, “Congress considering tighter restrictions on family visas,” Daniel Gonzalez, Nov. 8, 2013