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Overcoming Immigration Roadblocks: The Game-Changing Cross-Chargeability Rule Explained

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Cross-chargeability is a term that refers to a process used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to facilitate the processing of green card applications. The term describes a provision in the U.S. immigration law that allows certain applicants to be charged to a country other than their country of birth or nationality, potentially resulting in a faster processing time.

Under U.S. immigration law, there are specific limitations on the number of green cards that can be issued to individuals from any one country in a given year. This is known as the “per-country limit” or “visa quota.” The purpose of this limit is to prevent any one country from dominating the issuance of green cards and to promote diversity in the immigrant population of the United States.

However, this system can sometimes result in long waiting periods for individuals from countries with high demand for green cards, such as India or China. In some cases, individuals from these countries may be subject to waiting periods of many years before they can be granted a green card.

Cross-chargeability provides a solution to this problem by allowing certain individuals to be charged to a country other than their country of birth or nationality. For example, if a person was born in India but their spouse was born in Canada, the couple may be able to apply for a green card through cross-chargeability, with the application being charged to Canada rather than India. This means that the application would be subject to the visa quota for Canada rather than India, potentially resulting in a faster processing time.

To be eligible for cross-chargeability, there are certain requirements that must be met. First, the individual must be eligible for a green card through family-based or employment-based sponsorship. Second, the individual must have a spouse who was born in a country other than their own.

It is important to note that cross-chargeability is not automatic and must be requested by the applicant. This requires providing evidence of the spouse’s country of birth and establishing that the couple meets the eligibility requirements.

In conclusion, cross-chargeability is a provision in U.S. immigration law that allows certain individuals to be charged to a country other than their own for the purpose of green card processing. This can result in a faster processing time for individuals from countries with high demand for green cards. While there are specific eligibility requirements that must be met, cross-chargeability provides an important option for those seeking permanent residence in the United States.

Resources: Department of State Visa Bulletin,  USCIS Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from Visa Bulletin

We hope this article helps you understand basic immigration requirements, but please don’t consider it as legal advice or legal opinion about your specific circumstances.  Immigration rules are complex so contact a qualified immigration attorney for qualified advice and guidance.

For legal advice and guidance for your unique situation, you are invited to schedule a consultation by completing our contact form on this website.

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