Thursday, June 30, 2011

BIA Sets Favorable Precedent for Children of Fiancées (K-2 Visa Holders)

On June 23, 2011 the Board of Immigration Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in Matter of Le, 25 I&N Dec. 541 (BIA 2011) for advancing family unity. The Board's ruling favorably resolves the issue of whether the child of a fiancee of a U.S. citizen (a K-2 holder), who legally entered the U.S. when under age 21, is eligible for adjustment of status even after turning age 21. The Board concluded that the age of the child is "fixed" at the time the child is admitted to the United States. In doing so, it rejected the Department of Homeland Security's position that a K-2 visa holder is eligible only if he or she is under 21 at the time the adjustment of status application is adjudicated.

The Board's decision is consistent with the position that the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association advocated in amicus briefs submitted to the Board in approximately a half dozen other cases where the child turned 21 after being admitted to the United States. The noncitizens in these and the many other cases before both Immigration Judges and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices throughout the country now will be able to become lawful permanent residents as Congress intended.

Read the case here.

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