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American citizens can bring over Filipino family members

It hasn't been that long since Typhoon Haiyan caused untold devastation to the Philippines. There were a large number of people killed in this massive storm and severe damage was done across the country. For many of the people living in the Philippines, the cost and stress of rebuilding may be too much, and some may be looking to family members in the U.S. for help.

Fortunately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has recently announced immigration relief measures available to the people of the Philippines and their relatives in the United States. For example, if any U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents in Pennsylvania wish to sponsor their Filipino relatives for family reunification, immediate relatives can receive expedited processing. 

Under federal definitions, an immediate relative is considered a spouse, a parent (if the American citizen is over 21) or an unmarried child under the age of 21. While any American citizen can sponsor these relatives at any point, provided they can still comply with the age requirements, processing takes some time. Recognizing that some people in the Philippines don't have that kind of time, the government is trying to ease families' worries by making it easier to reunite with loved ones.

Though the process may be quicker, it won't necessarily be simpler. An immigration attorney can help navigate the forms and paperwork necessary to get a family member out of a destroyed home and to a new life in Pennsylvania. Hopefully USCIS can help get these immediate relatives to the United States quickly and safely.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “USCIS Reminds Filipino Nationals Impacted by Typhoon Haiyan of Available Immigration Relief Measures,” Nov. 15, 2013

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