Sun | Aug 25, 2019

Immigration Corner | Who should file for me?

Published:Tuesday | August 13, 2019 | 12:19 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington
Dahlia Walker-Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I have a 17-year-old son who is a US citizen (USC) through his dad, whom he emigrated with some years ago. My parents are also American citizens.

I would like to know which route would be easier or quicker when filing the petition for me to migrate to America - through my dad or should I wait on my son to turn 21.

Thank you.

Dear CA,

Currently the parent of an American citizen is considered an immediate relative and that petition takes approximately a year from filing to interview at the US Embassy in Kingston. The American citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to petition for their parent to become a US permanent resident. The under-21-year-old child of an American citizen is also an immediate relative and the same time frame applies. Immediate relatives do not have a specific number of visasough his dad, whom he emigrated with some years ago. My parents are also American citizens.

I would like to know which route would be easier or quicker when filing the petition for me to migrate to America - through my dad or should I wait on my son to turn 21 years old.

The over-21-year-old son/daughter of an American citizen can also be petitioned for by a US citizen parent, but the number of visas available for those beneficiaries are limited. Because of the limitations, those persons must wait for a visa to become available. The adult unmarried son/daughter of American citizens are in the F1 preference category, and the married son/daughter of an American citizen are in the F3 preference category. Currently visas are available in the F1 preference category for persons who were filed for before July 1, 2012; and in the F3 preference category if you were filed for before June 22, 2007.

Clearly, a petition by an adult USC son/daughter for their parent is a faster application than that filed by a USC parent for their adult son/daughter. While you can wait on your son to be 21 years old in four years, with the current immigration climate in the United States, you cannot be assured that the category will be around in four years to allow that petition category. Neither can we say if USC parents will be allowed to petition for their adult son/daughter.

It would be best to have your parent file a petition for you now and if or when your son is 21 years old, he can still file a petition for you to migrate to the US. He could file a second petition on your behalf. A person can have more than one petition for US residency filed on their behalf, and they can accept whichever petition is approved first and withdraw the other(s).

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