What is “Chain Migration?” - DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

What is “Chain Migration?”

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

Chicago immigration lawyers, Illinois immigration, immigration policy, F Visa, current immigration law, family-based immigrationAfter the December 11 attack in New York City that was perpetrated by a Bangladeshi immigrant, the president and current administration have gone on the offensive, arguing loudly about the evils of what is being called “chain migration.” They allege that chain migration, also called ‘extended chain migration,’ is a lax policy that permits too many immigrants into the U.S. without proper vetting.

While numerous experts have debunked such claims as manifestly paranoid, it is important to understand the legal arguments surrounding this issue, especially since the authority of the Oval Office may be turned arbitrarily on this aspect of U.S. immigration policy if nothing changes.

A Long and Complex Path

The perpetrator of the December attack in New York was a Bangladeshi immigrant who is not a U.S. citizen, but attained permanent residency after entering the country on an F43 visa. This is a visa granted to a child of an F1 visa holder, who is in turn the adult brother or sister of a U.S. citizen. This led the president to argue that ‘extended family chain migration,’ which is a term that had no meaning until a December 12 statement gave it one, “is incompatible with national security.” This is alleged because one family member who achieves U.S. citizen status can, in theory, sponsor several family members to come to the United States as well.

Contrary to the popular perception of one “long line” for immigrants to enter the United States, in reality, there are several long lines, all with their own requirements, checks and waiting periods. As with so many other statements he has made on immigration policy, the president appears to labor under a mistaken belief that the barest tie to the United States somehow gives one a pass through the lines, when this is simply erroneous. Every potential immigrant applying on family-based grounds faces the same background checks, fingerprinting and interviewing, with some subject to even more depending on their country of origin. Only the United Nations conducts more thorough checks.

The Wait is Too Long

Even after such vetting has occurred, the wait for some visa categories is years, if not decades long. F4 visa applicants have, in recent decades, waited as long as 23 years before being granted access—hardly a surefire way to gain entrance for the purpose of committing terrorist acts. This is in addition to however long that the F1 visa holder waited to receive their own visa before they were able to apply for their family members to join them. There is simply no way to guarantee that every single immigrant granted a visa will never break any kind of law, but making people wait so long is at least somewhat effective.

If you are a U.S. citizen, and you are able to apply to bring your family members over, you already are required to provide an affidavit of support (showing that your family member will not become a public charge), as well as attestations to their character and proof of a clean criminal record. These are required in addition to a fingerprint check and interview—there is very little further vetting that can be instituted that would not be a simple redundancy. This may not stop those in power, but at the same time, all one can do is be as informed as possible.

Seek Experienced Legal Help

At least for now, family based immigration is still in operation in the same manner it always has been. If you have questions or concerns regarding helping your family immigrate, contacting a knowledgeable attorney can be of great help. The Chicago immigration lawyers at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are happy to try and assist you with your case. Contact our office today to set up an initial appointment.



  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyers
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted