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H.R. 717 (113th): Reuniting Families Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 14, 2013.

Reuniting Families Act - Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to establish the fiscal year worldwide level of employment-based immigrants at 140,000 plus: (1) the previous year's unused visas, and (2) the number of unused visas from FY1992-FY2011.

Establishes the fiscal year worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants at 480,000 plus: (1) the previous year's unused visas, and (2) the number of unused visas from FY1992-FY2011.

Revises the definition of "immediate relative" to: (1) mean a child, spouse, or parent of a U.S. citizen or the child or spouse of a lawful permanent resident (and for each family member of a citizen or resident, such individual's accompanying spouse or child), except that in the case of parents such citizens shall be at least 21 years old; (2) permit a widow or widower of a U.S. citizen or resident to seek permanent resident status if married at least two years at the time of the citizen's or resident's death or, if married less than two years, by showing through a preponderance of the evidence that the marriage was entered into in good faith and not solely to obtain an immigration benefit; and (3) include an alien who was the child or parent of a U.S. citizen or resident at the time of the citizen's or resident's death if the alien files a petition within two years after such date or prior to reaching 21 years old.

Increases immigration visas for: (1) unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and (2) brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.

Provides an 80,640 visa allocation for the unmarried sons and daughters of permanent resident aliens.

Increases annual per country (10% of annual total) and dependent area (5% of annual total) limits for employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant visas.

Expands specified family-unity exceptions to unlawful presence-based inadmissibility.

Provides specified relief for orphans and spouses regarding: (1) petitions for immediate relative status, (2) parole eligibility, (3) permanent resident status adjustment, and (4) processing of immigrant visas.

Makes an alien inadmissible for willful misrepresentation of citizenship. (Under current law inadmissibility is based on false representation of citizenship.)

Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act - Exempts children of naturalized Filipino World War II veterans from worldwide or numerical immigrant limitations.

Makes a minor child of an alien fiancee/fiance or of an alien spouse of a U.S. citizen eligible for derivative K-visa status provided that the child's age is determined using such child's age at the date that the petition to classify such child's parent as a K-visa alien is filed with the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS). Authorizes the Secretary or the Attorney General to adjust the status of a finacee/fiance or alien spouse and any minor children (K-visa) to conditional permanent resident status if such alien marries the petitioner within three months after U.S. admission.

Redefines "child" for purposes of titles I and II of the Act to include a stepchild under 21 years old. (Current law includes a stepchild who has not reached 18 years old at the time the marriage creating the status of stepchild occurred.)

Amends INA to include a "permanent partner" within the scope of such Act.

Revises provisions regarding: (1) priority date retention; (2) false claims and misrepresentations; and (3) waiver eligibility for widows, widowers, and orphans.

Defines "permanent partner" as an individual 18 or older who: (1) is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 or older in which both individuals intend a lifelong commitment; (2) is financially interdependent with the other individual; (3) is not married to, or in a permanent partnership with, anyone other than the individual; (4) is unable to contract with the other individual a marriage cognizable under this Act; and (5) is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of the other individual.

Defines "permanent partnership" as the relationship existing between two permanent partners.

Defines "alien permanent partner" as the individual in a permanent partnership who is being sponsored for a visa.