Instead of forcing foreign-born military spouses to wait as long as a year to be able to join their service member stateside and live and work in the U.S., a new rule should make the process must faster.
The rule change, this story reports, could shorten the timeline to as little as a month.
To use the new system, which circumvents the previous central office approval system, service members must have stateside PCS orders relocating them from their overseas duty station. Also, the family member seeking the green card must be a military dependent (so this won't help military spouses relocate their foreign-born parents). Users will file I-130 immigrant visa petition directly to a U.S. Embassy or consulate general, the story says.
This should do big things to help foreign-born military spouses and their children come stateside with their spouse in a timely manner. I know several German born spouses, for example, who were forced to wait more than a year to join their service members in the states. When you're already separated regularly for deployments and long TDYs, more separation because of immigration is just kind of silly.
Of course there is a loop hole or two here still with this new change. According to the story, the ability of the embassy of consulate general to take care of the application depends on their other workload -- and all applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
If you're stationed overseas and want to get this process started, you must email the embassy directly and include both the service member's full name and the full name of the dependent, as well as their date of birth, and proof of active duty status, the story says. After that the embassy will make an appointment with you during which you can formally submit the petition and other documents.
Photo courtesy U.S. government.