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Immigration Corner | Immigration Corner | What should I do with my filings?

Published:Tuesday | June 18, 2019 | 12:35 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington
Dahlia Walker-Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker- Huntington,

I am requesting your advice on some immigration matters.

My biological mother who is a US citizen living in the US would like to file for me. She said that the filing would take a short time.

My fiancé, who is presently a green card holder and will be applying for citizenship soon, is suggesting applying for a K-1 visa instead of going through with my mother's proposal. He said it would be better if he takes that route, rather than getting married and then do the filing a K-3 Visa which he understands will take longer.

What is the possible duration for the entire process as it relates to my mother filing for me and my son? Which is best as it relates to my fiance - K-1 Visa or K-3 Visa?


Dear VF,

A US citizen parent filing for an adult unmarried son/daughter currently takes approximately seven years from filing to interview at the US Embassy. If your son is under 21 years old when the visa becomes available, he will be able to migrate with you as a derivative beneficiary. If he is over 21, the Child Status Protection Act would have to be evaluated to determine if he would be eligible to migrate on your mother’s petition.

The K-1 visa is also known as the fiancé visa and the K-3 visa is sometimes called the 'spouse' visa. To petition for either visa, the petitioner has to be a United States citizen. Your fiancé is a permanent resident (green card holder), he would not be eligible to file either the K1 or K3.

Becoming a US citizen is now taking any where from six months to more than two years. Filing for a K1 or K3 takes approximately a year or more. Generally, I advise US citizen spouses to file directly for the green card because it normally takes the same amount of time – one year, as filing the K1 or K3.

However, your fiancé as a permanent resident can most certainly marry you now and file a petition for your own green card. There is no need for him to first become a US citizen to file a petition on your behalf. Your fiancé would also be able to file for your son if the marriage takes place before your son is 18 years old. In July, 2019 the category for spouses and minor children of green card holders (F2A) is now current. This means that as soon as US Citizenship & Immigration Services processes the first application, a visa is available and the National Visa Center will proceed with the processing. Prior to this development, the processing time for a green card holder to file for their spouse or minor child was two years from filing to 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.