As posted in our YMF blog by my partner, Donald F. Madeo, Esq., the Family 2A Preference Category is now current as of August 2013. This is wonderful news indeed, and this change will help many individuals and families. It is especially good news for those who have immediate relatives (spouses and children) in their home countries, and for whom they have filed I-130 petitions. Just a few months ago, this preference had a waiting period of two and a half years. No more long waits for those families! Of course, we still have to take into account processing times by USCIS and the National Visa Center. But we can look at it this way: before, we had to look at those processing times in addition to the waiting times in the visa bulletin!
Many immigration practitioners (including, of course, we at Youman, Madeo & Fasano) have been arguing for some time that the F2A preference is inhumane. If we look at the visa bulletin, it is the only family-based preference that has kept immediate family apart. This means that people had to wait for years to be reunited with their spouses and/or minor children. It was keeping families separated at their very nucleus. Every other preference involves family members that are not immediate, such as sons and daughters who are over 21 (and usually emancipated), or adult siblings (who rarely live together).
We should therefore applaud our Government for making this humanitarian change. It is the right thing to do. Let us hope that the next step will be to remove the F2A category from the Visa Bulletin altogether, and turn this particular preference into an immediate relative category. One where there is no visa limit or cap, and a green card is immediately available to the beneficiary.