The Latest News on Net Migration, Marriage-Based Green Card and Immigration
Net migration from EU into UK at lowest level since 2003
The fall is driven by a decline in EU immigration, down from a 305,000 peak in March 2015 to 199,000 in the year to June
Net migration from the EU into the UK is at its lowest level since before the bloc was enlarged to take in countries including Poland and Lithuania, figures suggest.
The difference between EU nationals arriving and leaving in the year ending June 2019 was 48,000, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show, the lowest level since 2003, when it was 15,000 and before the so-called EU8 countries joining the union: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
EU net migration climbed to a peak of 219,000 in the year to March 2015 and has been falling ever since against the backdrop of the referendum and the Brexit negotiations.
The fall is driven by a decline in EU immigration, down from a 305,000 peak in March 2015 to 199,000 in the year to June, while EU emigration is up to 151,000 from a trough of 75,000 in the year to March 2013.
The lower value of the pound making the UK less attractive, improving economic prospects in EU countries of origin, and the political uncertainty of the prolonged Brexit process are all factors that have influenced the decline in net EU migration.
However, an estimated 229,000 more non-EU citizens moved to the UK than left in the year ending June 2019 – this has gradually increased since 2013 largely because of a rise in non-EU immigration, while emigration has remained broadly stable.
The distinction is important because the government’s immigration policy is focused on ending freedom of movement with the EU with a broader argument that the country has no control of this side of migration. But the element over which it does have control – immigration outside the EU – continues to rise. EU net migration has declined without restricting freedom of movement.
Experts have said the relatively low levels of EU net migration mean that restricting free movement at this point in time would be expected to have a much smaller impact on overall migration levels than it would have done in the past. However, this will not always be the case as EU migration has fluctuated up and down over time.
Bloomberg: US would benefit from ‘an awful lot more immigrants’
We need immigrants to take all the different kinds of jobs that the country needs — improve our culture, our cuisine, our religion
Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said that the United States needs “an awful lot more immigrants rather than less.”
On his second day campaigning for the Democratic nomination, the former New York City mayor contrasted his views on immigration with President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies and laid out a vision of a multicultural society enriched by immigrants.
“We need immigrants to take all the different kinds of jobs that the country needs — improve our culture, our cuisine, our religion, our dialogue and certainly improve our economy,” the billionaire told reporters.
He blasted Trump’s policies that resulted in the separation of families arriving on the border.
“Ripping kids away from their parents is a disgrace,” he said.
Bloomberg reiterated his Nov. 17 apology for supporting New York’s stop-and-frisk police strategy, a practice that he embraced as mayor and continued to defend despite its disproportionate impact on people of color.
He said it was a mistake but also credited it with reducing New York’s murder rate.
“How many times do you hear elected officials say, ‘I made a mistake’?” Bloomberg said. “None of us do everything perfectly. I’m sorry it happened, I can’t rewrite history. Let’s get on with it.”
Who can apply for US Marriage-Based Green Card?
A marriage-based green card (or “spousal visa”) is an immigrant visa available to the spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Although the process can seem daunting, most couples do qualify for a marriage-based green card if one spouse is a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
When applying for a marriage green card, the spouse who is already a U.S. citizen or green card holder is called the sponsor or the petitioner, while the foreign spouse who is seeking a green card is called the beneficiary.
Requirements for the Marriage
To qualify for a marriage-based green card, the marriage must be legally valid, and officially recognized in the country or region where it took place. Proving that the marriage is legally valid generally involves providing a marriage certificate, as well as evidence that any prior marriages have been legally terminated through death, divorce, or annulment.
The marriage must also be based on a genuine, bona fide relationship, and not entered into in order to gain immigration benefits. In other words, the spouses must have married because they genuinely want to be married to one another and spend their lives together, and not simply in order to gain a green card.
Requirements for the Petitioner
Other than being a U.S. citizen or green card holder, there are a few requirements that the petitioner, or sponsoring spouse, must meet in order to apply for a marriage-based green card for their spouse.
- The sponsor must be lawfully married to the beneficiary. In some jurisdictions, this serves as an effective lower age limit for spousal visas, since people can’t legally marry until they reach a certain age.
- The sponsor must pledge to support their spouse. The petitioner will need to file an affidavit of support pledging to provide for their spouse.
- The sponsor must have the means to support their spouse. The petitioner must demonstrate that they have the means to support their entire household, including the sponsor, the beneficiary, and any children, at 125% of the federal poverty level.
- The sponsor must be domiciled in the United States. This means that the sponsor must actually live in the United States, or must prove their intent to return to the United States with their foreign spouse. If the sponsor is currently living abroad, they may need to provide evidence of U.S. job offers, lease documents, or financial investments to prove their intent to return to the United States.
Requirements for the Beneficiary
The beneficiary, or person who is applying to receive a green card, is generally automatically eligible to receive a green card once they are lawfully married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
However, there are 4r key reasons why a green card application might be denied:
1. On health grounds
The beneficiary will have to take a medical exam, and could be denied a green card on health grounds if they have certain communicable diseases or mental illnesses, or if they’ve failed to receive the required vaccinations.
2. Due to criminal history
People convicted of certain serious crimes are ineligible for a marriage green card.
3. Due to immigration history
People can be denied a green card if they violate certain immigration rules, such as lying to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen, or failing to attend a removal hearing.
4. On public charge grounds
The government may soon deny green cards to beneficiaries who they think will struggle to support themselves and become reliant on public benefits, now or in the future.
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