President Obama Makes Changes to Visa Waiver Program

The United States Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of up to 90 days for purposes of business, tourism, or visiting. However, those who entered the country through the program had been unable to extend their stays or adjust their status once in the United States.

However, under a November 14, 2013 policy memorandum issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, field offices shall now have the authority to adjudicate adjustment of status petitions filed by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who were last admitted to the United States under the visa waiver program. This includes cases where Form I-485 was filed after the 90-day period of admission.

This new Obama Administration policy was issued a day before the administration announced plans to let some immigrant parents, children and spouses of U.S. military personnel stay in the United States, possibly signaling that the President plans to use his executive power more aggressively to affect change following the failure of the House of Representatives to pass an immigration reform bill.

Citizens of the following 37 countries are eligible for the visa waiver program:

AndorraHungaryNew Zealand
AustraliaIcelandNorway
AustriaIrelandPortugal
BelgiumItalySan Marino
BruneiJapanSingapore
Czech RepublicLatviaSlovakia
DenmarkLiechtensteinSlovenia
EstoniaLithuaniaSouth Korea
FinlandLuxembourgSpain
FranceMaltaSweden
GermanyMonacoSwitzerland
Greecethe NetherlandsTaiwan
United Kingdom

Murray Osorio PLLC are Fairfax Immigration Attorneys dedicated to their clients and to their clients’ families. If you have an immigration matter, it’s important that you contact us as soon as possible. An experienced Fairfax Immigration Lawyer could make all the difference- call us at (703) 952-3275, or fill out our contact form.

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