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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2016 
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378
Questions & Answers
Question:I got my conditional Green Card through my American husband about six months ago. I have a son in Canada who is 19 years old and I want to sponsor him. My question is do I need to wait until I get my permanent card before I can file for him, or can I do it now?
Answer: Immigration regulations allow conditional residents to sponsor their children as soon as they receive their initial conditional residency. In your case, you can file for your son now in the F2A category, for minor children of U.S. Residents. At present, the backlog for such petitions is approximately 1-1/2 years, so don’t delay, because after he turns age 21, he will likely age out and not be eligible as a “minor” anymore, except for the very limited protection of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). If he does age out, your son would then be automatically reclassified into the F2B category, for adult, single children of U.S. Residents, where the waiting time is about 6 years. As a conditional resident, you and your U.S. Citizen spouse will need to file the Removal of Conditions on Residency petition (form I-751) 1 year and 9 months after the date you obtained your conditional residency. You must submit extensive documentation to the USCIS to prove that you and you husband continue to be in a bona fide (real) marriage. This documentation should include joint tax returns, joint bank accounts, joint car insurance, joint utility bills, Drivers Licenses showing the same address, etc. If you are approved, your son would remain eligible to immigrate, however, if you are denied, his immigration petition would no longer be valid.
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Overview of The Family Immigration Process 
For Parents, Spouses and Minor children of U.S. Citizens, immigrating to the U.S. can be fairly quick, about 8 months or so from abroad. Those inside the U.S. who are eligible to adjust status, can usually obtain Residency within about 6 months or so. 

However, all other family members of U.S. Citizen and U.S. Residents must wait in an Immigrant Visa line, depending upon which family immigration category they are in. 

Here are the current waiting times for family members in all countries except China, Mexico & Philippines:
So with lines as long as a decade or longer for some family members, the sooner a U.S. Citizen or Resident begins the immigration process, the sooner their family members will be able to get their place in the Family Immigrant visa line. The Immigrant Visa process generally goes as follows:

1) U.S. Citizen or Resident files the I-130 Family petition filed with the USCIS 
2) I-130 Receipt issued by the USCIS
3) USCIS processing time depends upon the Family Immigration category. Currently, F1 is 1 year, F2A 6 months, F2B 1 year, F3 4 years and F4 5 years.
4) USCIS issues I-130 Approval Notice to the U.S. Citizen or Resident
5) USCIS transfers the case to the National Visa Center to put the case in the queue waiting for an Immigrant Visa to be available (according to determinations made by the State Dept) as reflected in the monthly Visa Bulletin
6) National Visa Center (NVC) sends letter to U.S. Citizen or Resident indicating that the case is pending visa availability
7) Nothing happens for many years while waiting for Immigrant Visa availability
8) Finally, after many years, when an Immigrant Visa becomes available, the NVC notifies the U.S. Citizen or Resident that Fee bills must be paid in order to prepare the case for Consular Processing 
9) Once Visa and Affidavit of support fee bills are paid, consular forms and original documents must be submitted to the NVC along with the Affidavit of Support and financial documentation
10) Once all required documents are submitted, and the NVC file is complete, it sends the file to the U.S. Consulate to schedule the Immigrant Visa interview
11) The U.S. Consulate notifies the Immigrant of the Immigrant Visa appointment and provides instructions on having the required medical examination done.
12) The Immigrant (and his or her family) attend the Immigrant Visa appointment at the U.S. Consulate and if all goes well, the case is approved and the Immigrant receives a package in the mail which must be presented to the U.S. Immigration officials at the airport upon entering the U.S.. Prior to entry, Immigrant visa fees(currently $165 per person) must be paid online and the receipt presented to prove payment.
13) The Immigrant and family receive their Green Cards at the address in the U.S. provided within about 120 days and then proceed to apply for Social Security numbers from the Social Security Administration.

Visit the Visa Bulletin to see the current Immigrant Visa waiting lines for family members:
Visa Bulletin 
Get more information about family immigration waiting lines:
Family Immigrant Visa waiting lines

You can learn more about Family Immigration by visiting our website at:  
or by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
The USCIS E-Notification Service Notifies You When Your Case Is Received 
The USCIS now provides a convenient service to customers who have filed applications by sending email or text notifications once the center receives and accepts an application for processing. 

To request an email or text notification, go online to the USCIS website and download and complete form G-1145. Complete a separate form for each form you are sending to the USCIS and attach to the front page of each application. Good luck!
Category/Family Relationship

F1 Single, Adult Children of U.S. Citizens
(and their minor children under 21)

F2A Spouses & Minor Children of U.S. Residents

F2B Single, Adult Children of U.S. Residents
 (and their minor children under 21)

F3 Married, Adult Children of U.S. Citizens
(their Spouses & minor children under 21)

F4 Siblings (Brother/Sisters) of U.S. Citizens
(their Spouses & minor children under 21)
7 years

1 1/2 years

6 years

12 years

13 - 14 years
Approx Wait Time
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know What Filing Fees Are Required?
One of the most common reasons for case rejection by the USCIS is for the wrong Filing Fees. You can see the current USCIS Filing Fees by clicking on the link below:
Current USCIS Filing Fees
Avoid Case Rejection By Enclosing the Correct USCIS Filing Fee
State Department’s Visa Bulletin Released For September 2016
The Visa Bulletin released by the State Department each month details the current waiting times for Immigrant Visas in Family and Employment Immigrant Petition cases.

You can view the upcoming Visa Bulletin for September 2016 by clicking on the link below:

September Visa Bulletin