Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Immigration Corner | Can I get a visa to visit my husband?

Published:Tuesday | April 17, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Good day Mrs Walker-Huntington:

I am a Jamaican and my husband is a permanent resident of the United States of America. He applied for his citizenship a year and he has not been called for an interview. He wanted to become a citizen so we could be together. I miss my husband and I would just want to travel to see him and come back home until the citizenship comes through. What is the chance of getting a visa to visit him?


Dear S.B.:

As a permanent resident of the United States (green card holder), your husband is eligible to file a petition for his wife and unmarried children. Currently, it takes two years for a visa to become available for the spouse of a green card holder. I don't know how long you and your husband have been married and who filed for him to receive a green card, but he should have already filed a petition for you to join him in America. I am assuming that he validly obtained his green card.

When a person files for naturalisation (US citizenship), the receipt notice says that the petition takes 720 days - two years - to be processed. For years, the actual processing time has been four to six months. However, if the application takes longer (but no longer than two years), US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is still within its processing time to handle your case.

Since the Trump Administration has been in office, it has redirected staff and priorities at USCIS, and this has led to significantly longer than normal processing times for almost all applications. While your husband's citizenship application has taken more than a year, it is still within the stated processing time.

When a person has a family member such as a husband in the United States, it is more difficult to be granted a non-immigrant visa. All applicants for non-immigrant visas are assigned a presumption that they intend to migrate. When the applicant has a close family member in the US, the presumption increases and the likelihood of being granted a visa decreases.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal, international and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida.