Japan earthquake may have impact on immigration

The Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear crisis has affected thousands of people around the world. While making sure loved ones are safe is likely the top priority of Japanese people living in America, they should also be sure to keep an eye on their immigration status.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services is informing Japanese nationals in America that the disaster may make maintaining lawful immigration status difficult for them.

The federal agency is offering a number of temporary relief measures to help Japanese immigrants during this time of crisis.

Certain grants of advanced parole will be extended, according to a USCIS release. In addition, advanced parole requests will be expedited.

A number of other processes will be expedited as well including immigration petitions for immediate relatives of permanent residents and US citizens and employment authorizations in situations where it is deemed to be appropriate.

Japanese nationals visiting America during this time through the Visa Waiver Program may want to contact the closest USCIS office for assistance.

According to CNN, the death toll in Japan is nearly 7,000.