When a couple gets married, they expect to spend the rest of their life living with one another. Many California residents who have married individuals from foreign countries impacted by the president’s travel ban in effect since December 2017 have yet to fulfill this dream however. It is not just spouses who are living in limbo because of it, but also siblings, children and parents who were legally going to join family members through family immigration.

According to some estimates, more than 10,000 people have been kept from joining their loved ones in America since the ban took effect. Waivers or exceptions are created for those applicants who are determined by a counselor officer to satisfy all requirements and complete all processing. The Presidential Proclamation contains the waiver qualifications, including those for both immigration and non-immigration purposes. From this pool of tens of thousands of people, less than 2700 applicants had been cleared as of earlier this year.

According to the State Department, only 5.9 percent of visa applications were given a waiver in the first 11 months of the ban. According to officials, the burden of proof lies on the alien to demonstrate he or she is both eligible for a visa and a waiver.

Being separated from a loved one is traumatizing, especially when one is not sure how long the separation will last. One way to get some certainty is by ensuring all the paperwork is complete and requirements are fulfilled. Consulting an experienced attorney for guidance on how to proceed with family based immigration might be helpful.