Thanks to recent changes to immigration rules, spouses of naturalized US military doctors with critical language skills will no longer have legal residency status while waiting for their green cards. Instead they will have to return to their countries of origin to restart the green card process.
The rule reversal, reported by my colleague over at Military.com, could mean that the spouses of military doctors who joined the service in exchange for citizenship must spend as long as 3.5 years in their home country waiting out U.S. immigration laws -- two years before they can reapply, plus whatever time it takes the U.S. to process their applications.
According to one official, the policy change will impact only a small number of military spouses. But for those it does, the reversal will mean some very long separations from their service member.
Some worry that this kind of policy change will keep needed doctors from accepting citizenship in exchange for filling a void in the military. But we know that this particular policy is something of a reversal on the administration's attitude toward military members with immigration problems -- "parole in place."That policy, put in place last year, allows immigration officials to grant permission for non-citzen family members of U.S. military members and veterans to gain legal residency and avoid deportation. (You can read about that here).
Is the new immigration change hurting your military family? Did last year's change help it? Tell us in the comments!