Immigration Issues for Spouses and Children

The immigration needs and options regarding immigration for spouses and children of foreign physicians are important to consider. So often the focus is exclusively on the foreign physician. Once the physician's immigration needs are obtained, the physician has employment opportunities and certainly the keys to develop a very rich and full professional life in the United States.

But, what about the spouse? What about the children? They need to be incorporated into immigration strategy as well. So an immigration attorney may recommend that during the initial discussion phase, the needs and aspirations of the spouse are discussed openly. Is there a requirement for employment authorization? Is there a hesitancy to travel internationally for fear of being denied a visa once abroad? Are the children approaching the age of 21? A child can derive permanent residence through the parents only until the age of 21. Consequently, it is necessary to develop a holistic integrated understanding of the entire family structure and what is required in order to create a sense of satisfaction with life in the United States.

Consider for a moment the spouse's needs. Perhaps the spouse has a strong desire to work in the United States and does not want to be stultified by simply remaining at home and not working. If employment is an important consideration to the spouse, and indeed to the entire family unit, there may be some steps that can be incorporated into immigration strategy to investigate the opportunities and prospects for gaining H-1B status in his or her own right.

In some instances, a physician immigration attorney would want to develop the physician's taste for permanent residence under a national interest waiver. Because, derived from that theory, it may be possible to provide the spouse with employment authorization and international travel authorization. Those are two very important considerations in terms of certain family constructs.

The important thing is during the initial formulation of your strategy, make sure that the overall interests and aspirations of the spouse and of your children are fully factored in to your immigration strategy and that their needs are fully discussed. If employment and travel authorization are important values, those values should be accounted for very strongly in the formulation of your immigration strategy.

This article is included to inform you, in general, about U.S. immigration law. The information contained herein is not intended to provide solutions to individual problems. Thus, it cannot be relied on as legal advice. We caution you to not attempt to solve individual problems on the basis of this information and advise you to seek competent legal counsel to address your specific issues.

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