Wed | May 27, 2020

Immigration Corner | Why can't my son get a visa?

Published:Tuesday | August 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I am currently in the process of removing the conditions from my green card. I have a child in Jamaica that lives with his grandparents. I'm not ready to start the filing process until I become a US citizen.

My child and his grandfather went to get a visa but my son was denied. They were told that he had no ties to the country even though his grandfather took evidence to support otherwise. The officer didn't even look at them.

In this political climate, I would never take my child permanently from Jamaica without going about it the right way. I want them to visit until I'm ready to file.

I guess my questions are; is it worth it to try again in a few months to get my son a visa. Will they deny him again because I'm here or should I just wait a until I get my citizenship to file for him?

Looking forward to hearing from you.



Dear CP,

Anyone applying for a non-immigrant visa to the United States is presumed to have an intention to migrate – no matter, age, marital status, etc. That is, the applicant for the visa has to convince the US Consular Officer that after their visit to America, they will return to their home country. The burden is then placed on the applicant to convince the Consular Officer that they will leave America after their trip.

When a person has an immediate relative residing in the United States or is a US citizen or green card holder, the presumption of migration increases and makes it even more difficult to obtain a non-immigrant visa. Remembering always that a non-immigrant visa is a privilege and not a right and that no one is entitled to a non-immigrant visa.

You wrote that you are in the process of removing the condition on your green card – this probably means that you were the beneficiary of a green card filed by your spouse. If your son was under 18 years of age when you were married, your spouse could and still can petition for your son’s (step-son) green card. If not, you as a green card holder can file for your son (as long as he is unmarried). You do not have to wait until you become a US citizen to file for your child. As of this month, the waiting time for a green card holder’s petition for a minor child is current which means those petitions should take approximately a year from filing to an interview.

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.