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Permanent Resident Status For Sons and Daughters Of Naturalized Filipino World War II Veterans

Legislation authorizing adjustment of status to permanent resident of sons and daughters of naturalized Filipino World War II veterans, exempted from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas, are before the current 111th Congress of the United States.

Indeed, on May 14, 2009, H.R. 2412, a bill to exempt children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas, was filed in the House of Representatives by Ms. Hirono, Mr. Ambercrombie, Mr. Filner, Mr. Honda, Mr. Faleomavaega, Ms. Bordallo, Mrs. Maloney, and Mr. Farr.

And on November 9, 2009, S.2757, a bill to authorize the adjustment of status for immediate family members of persons who served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, and for other purposes (which include a son or daughter who has a Filipino parent who was naturalized pursuant to section 405 of the Immigration Act of 1990), was filed in the Senate by Mr. Menendez, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Feingold, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Inouye, and Ms. Landrieu.

Thus, both House and Senate bills cover the exemption from direct numerical limitations on immigrant visas for sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans naturalized pursuant to section 405 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (8 U.S.C. 1440), which provided naturalization through active-duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War 1, World War II, Korean hostilities, Vietnam hostilities, or other periods of military hostilities.

Differences Between S.2752 and H.R.2412:

S.2757 (cited as the “Military Families Act”) is for immediate family members (parent, spouse, child, son, or daughter) of persons who served honorably in the Armed Forces during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, but adds a son or daughter under the family-based first preference (unmarried sons and daughters of citizens) and third preference (married sons and daughters of citizens) who has a Filipino parent who was naturalized pursuant to Section 405 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (8 U.S.C. 1440).

So, a son or daughter of a Filipino World War 2 veteran, who was naturalized before the Immigration Act of 1990, is excluded from the coverage of the Senate bill and also of the House bill.

Since the rider on a son or daughter of a naturalized Filipino World War II veteran is included in the bill primarily for military families of veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is easier to pass Congress, than H.R. 2412 (cited as the “Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act”), which is exclusively for children of naturalized Filipino World War II veterans.

Moreover, S.2757 provides for adjustment of status in the United States for a son or daughter of a naturalized Filipino World War II veteran, (1) who applies for adjustment, (2) is admissible to the United States as an immigrant, except for waivers of some grounds of inadmissibility, and (3) is physically present in the United States.

H.R. 2412 does not require physical presence in the United States of a son or daughter of a Filipino World War II veteran who was naturalized also pursuant to Section 405 of the Immigration Act of 1990. So, they may apply for an immigrant visa through consular processing in the Philippines or elsewhere outside the United States.

Issues In Both S. 2757 And H.R. 2412 On Eligibility:

1.)  S.2757 Does Not Require Relative Petition:

S.2757, in its section 2(a), states that the immediate family member must be admissible to the United States as an immigrant; and its section 2(b) states that the immediate family member must be of a (1)(A) living Armed Forces member, or (2)(B) a deceased Armed Forces member if: (i) if the Armed Forces member died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by the Armed Forces member’s service; and (ii) the alien applies for such adjustment within (I) two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, if the death occurred prior to the enactment date; or (II) two years after the death, if it occurred after the enactment date.

Section 2(b)(2) of S.2757 on a son or daughter of a naturalized Filipino World War II veteran does not qualify whether the veteran-parent is alive or deceased, and does not state a period for filing of the adjustment application.

Does S.2757 allow self-petition for adjustment of status of a son or daughter of a naturalized Filipino World War II veteran, without prior relative petition filed by the veteran -parent? Indeed, no requirement for relative petition is stated in S.2757, only an application for adjustment of status.

If self petition is allowed, then no Form I-130 relative petition is required from the veteran-parent, whether alive or deceased. Currently, a Form I-130 relative petition needs to be filed and approved before a son or daughter of a  naturalized parent can adjust status in the United States.

Moreover, if the petitioner-parent dies, the petition dies with the petitioner, unless an approved relative petition is reinstated for humanitarian reasons.

2.H.R.2412 Requires Relative Petition:

The House bill merely exempts children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas under section 201(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, nothing more. So, the petitioning procedure of filing and approval of a relative petition (Form I-130) under section 204 thereof still applies.

Indeed, H.R. 2412 impliedly covers both adjustment of status in the United States and issuance of an immigrant visa through consular processing, under current Department of Homeland Security and Department of State procedures.

An open-ended self-petition for adjustment of status by a son or daughter without prior filing and approval of a relative petition by a naturalized Filipino World War II veteran-parent would be most welcomed.



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