We all have dates and numbers we cherish and should remember. As a husband I know that April 9th is a special day in our home and I better not forget an anniversary gift or note for my wife of 17 years. This date is remembered and has meaning. I have 5 kids who all deserve recognition on their special day, their birthday, and so I make a mental note so that they are openly appreciated by their father on their big day. These dates are remembered and have meaning.
In my professional life there are also special dates and numbers that I keep track of like the dates I graduated from BYU and law school. The day I passed the bar and day I was admitted to practice law have forever been etched in my memory as a culmination of hard work and difficult times. Like the previous dates they all are remembered and have meaning.
Within our law firm we have special numbers and dates as well. The number 8 is big today because as I write this article it happens to fall on the eighth anniversary of the establishment of Wilner & O'Reilly. Started on August 8th of 2003 with just me, my partner and some lofty goals we have become the preeminent immigration firm in Southern California. We started this firm with only 2 small executive suites and no help. In short order W&O has grown to the point of having 4 offices, including our newest in Salt Lake City with 6 attorneys working hard for our clients.
We have been blessed and so these numbers and dates all have special meaning to us and in an immigration context there are special numbers and dates that should mean something to you as well. Let me touch on a few.
APRIL 30, 2001
It is no secret that the laws regarding immigration to the United States have become increasingly narrow and difficult with benefits difficult to come by. In the last 10 years Congress and especially this President have done nothing to assist those who need to improve their immigration situation. However, the last act by this group continues to be the biggest hope and help to immigrants. Known affectionately as "245 I," a reference to the section of law where the language is found, 245I is a key to any person seeking permanent life in the U.S.
Under section 245I, applications for labor certification or specific family petitions filed before this date may cure an immigrant's unlawful status in the U.S. and allow them to file for residency here and not require them to return to their home country. There is more to this rule and it has some complexity but if you or a family member have been the beneficiary of such an application before this date, April 30, 2001 then it should be remembered and for you it does in fact have meaning.
The definition of child by immigration standards is an "unmarried son or daughter under the age of 21." Now that's nice to know what age the Immigration Service considers someone a child but it has far more important ramifications than just definition. Children are entitled to immigrate to the U.S faster than when the Immigration Service considers them young adults. Children can naturalize under a different set of rules than their adult counterparts and in easier fashion. Adoption of children can only happen and be recognized by the Service if it occurs prior to the adoptee turning a certain age. Knowing ages, birthdates, timelines all are important for family based immigration processing.
There are also rules and laws that can legally "freeze" an age of a child so that they can remain a child though actually older and in some cases be quite older. Knowing these rules so your child is not considered an adult by immigration standards can be the difference between having a child legal in the U.S. right now versus waiting 10 more years because you didn't know about the dates involved in the Child Status Protection Act.
There is a lot to know regarding the important dates and numbers the Immigration Service has set and considers for the processing of applications. These dates can mean the difference between lawful residency and remaining undocumented with no hope or even having to return to your native country.
If you need help find a lawyer consult on dates, times, and sections of law and review your situation. Who knows, maybe after speaking with a qualified immigration lawyer you will find a new date or a new number that you will remember as important and it will have special meaning to you and your family as you seek a better life in the U.S.