Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,
I am a green card holder living in the United States (US). My 14-year-old daughter who has a B2 visa is here with me. If I go ahead and file for her, would she be able to go to Jamaica to attend her immigrant visa interview if the petition is approved, without being subjected to a ban?
As a 14-year-old living in the US on an expired I-94, your daughter would be allowed to attend school through graduation from high school. As a green card holder filing for residency for your daughter, she would not be able to change her status in the US and would have to return to Jamaica for an interview at the US Embassy.
If you filed for your daughter now, she would be in the F2A preference category and it is currently taking just over two years and three months for priority dates in that category to become current. Your daughter would then be about 16, or at the most 17 years of age when she would be scheduled for an interview in Kingston. (Keep in mind that waiting times change and are unpredictable).
Once your daughter attends the interview before she is 18 years old, her unlawful presence in the US would not be attributed to her and if she is otherwise qualified she would be awarded immigrant status. However, if the interview takes place after age 18, the 10-year mandatory bar for unlawful presence would attach and she would require a hardship waiver before being allowed back into the US.
You did not indicate how long you have been living in the States and why your daughter was not included in your immigrant-visa petition. The only way your minor child would not have been allowed to migrate with you on your immigrant visa is if you were filed for by a US citizen son or daughter. Depending on how long you have been in the US and if you were petitioned for by someone other than a US citizen son or daughter, you should investigate having your daughter 'follow to join' you to the US. This could be done in a matter of months.
If you opt not to petition for your daughter while you are a green card holder, you could explore obtaining your US citizenship and filing for your daughter (before she is 21 years old) to adjust her status in the States. You should consult with an immigration attorney to explore the pros and cons of your options.
Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal & personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. email@example.com.