USCIS Issues New Guidance Regarding Spousal Petitions Involving Minors

USCIS has announced new guidance for officers adjudicating I-130 Petitions for Alien Relatives. Between FY 2007 and FY 2017, USCIS approved approximately 8,500 spousal petitions involving minors between the ages of 13 and 17. In an effort disincentivize child marriage in US immigration, USCIS has emphasized the need for adjudicators to take into account not only the legality of child marriage in the place of its celebration as demanded by the Immigration and Nationality Act, but in the intended US state of residence as well. Furthermore, adjudicators have been instructed to consider that marriages that “occur without the […] consent of either or both parties […] are not considered bona fide for immigration purposes.” The new guidance is part of an effort that seeks keep US immigration policy up to date and in agreement with not only immigration law, but public and state policies within the US.