Family-based US immigration can be a long and complicated process. A proper understanding of the rules and wait times often determines the best approach forward. We recently helped a US citizen sponsor his father and mother for green cards. Due to wait times, after the father was approved, he was able to sponsor the sister for a green card. We explain their immigration journey and why this path was the best for their situation here.
Case Summary – Green card for Father Mother and Sister of a US Citizen Approved!
Our US Citizen client approached us in 2019 with the goal of bringing his father, mother, and sister to the United States. Under US Immigration law a US citizen can sponsor qualifying family members, including parents and siblings to come to the United States on immigrant visas to obtain US permanent residency (green card). The US citizen sponsor must file a separate USCIS Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for each qualifying immediate family member. Because a parent and a sibling fall under different immigrant visa classifications, the wait times for each to receive an immigrant visa can be years apart. In general, immigrant visas are immediately available for the parents of a US citizen while the wait time for a sibling can be several years. Wait times for each immigrant visa classification are listed on the US Department of State Visa Bulletin. In this case, other than case and consular processing times, there was no immigrant visa backlog for the parents. This means the US citizen was able to immediately sponsor his parents for their immigrant visas and green cards. However, the wait time for sponsoring his sister due to immigrant visa backlogs was over 15 YEARS!
The sister was still under age 21 but would soon have her 21st birthday. This means that as long as her father obtained a green card and then petitioned her before turning 21, she could obtain her green card much faster as the minor child of a US permanent resident. We were able to quickly file the I-130 Petitions for the parents that were subsequently approved for consular processing. The parents attended their consular processing interviews, were issued their immigrant visas, and then entered the United States to receive their green cards.
Once the father had his green card in hand, he immediately filed an I-130 Petition for his daughter. Although the daughter turned 21 during the process, she was covered by the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) and did not age out. The I-130 was approved and the daughter was able to consular process and obtain her green card. They are now all in the United States as US permanent residents.
The entire process of obtaining the green cards for the parents and eventually the green card for the sister took 3 years. This was all accomplished during COVID. In five years the parents and sister will all qualify for US citizenship through naturalization.
Additional Outside Resources
- US Department of State Visa Bulletin
- USCIS Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
- Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)
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The US immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 30+ years of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews! Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.