National Center for Lesbian Rights

Legislation & Policy

Reuniting Families Act (RFA)

Status: Open

Outcome: Active

Location: Federal

The Reuniting Families Act (RFA) is an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that would offer a more comprehensive and humane family-based immigration system. With the goal of providing a more efficient, fair, and timely way for immigrant families to reunite, the RFA would improve the current immigration system to ensure family unity, including for LGBTQ people and their families. With the reunification of lawful immigrant families often taking years, even decades, due to visa backlogs, insufficient staffing, and visa quotas, RFA would provide alternatives for a timelier reunification process. For example, RFA would reclassify lawful permanent resident spouses and children as immediate relatives not subject to annual quotas on immigration, and allow for unused visa quotas from one year to roll over to the following year. In addition, the RFA would provide for a way for children with a U.S. citizen parent to obtain citizenship that is not dependent on a biological relationship to that parent, and recognize permanent partnerships where two people are in a committed relationship but are not legally married.

The Reuniting Families Act was introduced in July 2019 and referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship August 12, 2019.

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