Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Immigration Corner | Will the ban affect my son?

Published:Tuesday | September 22, 2020 | 12:10 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington
Dahlia Walker-Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My son is in the United States on a student visa. His father, who is a permanent resident, has just submitted an I-130 for him and his other siblings. At the moment, my son is age 20. Will he be affected in any way by this ban?

– A.C.C.

Dear A.C.C.,

As the under-21-year-old, unmarried child of a permanent resident (green card holder), your son is in the F2A Preference Category. That category is current, which means that the application will be processed as soon as both US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) can process the application and you respond to phase two of the process with the National Visa Center (NVC). When the documents are processed and accepted, a visa will be available.

Depending on when your son will be 21 years old, he may or may not remain in that F2A Preference Category. Because the sponsor is a green card holder and not a US citizen, your son will not retain his preference category if he reaches age 21 years before he migrates. If he becomes 21 years old during the process, the application will change categories, and your son will be moved to the F2B Preference Category. That category takes approximately five years for a visa to become available.

If the sponsor was a US citizen, the child would retain child status as long as the petition is filed before the child is 21 years old.

Donald Trump made a proclamation halting migration for persons in your son’s category until December 31, 2020, because of the COVID-19 virus. Currently, only the spouse and minor children of US citizens are receiving interviews at local US embassies and visas to migrate. However, all visa applications are being processed. We will have to wait to see the outcome of the US general elections in November 2020 to know whether the proclamation will be lifted.

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 former special magistrate and hearing officer in Broward County, Florida.