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Immigration Corner | Will ours be considered a family appointment?

Published:Tuesday | October 22, 2019 | 12:19 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington
Dahlia Walker-Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntingdon,

I saw your posts in The Gleaner and wanted to ask you a question. I hope you can find time to assist me. My husband filed for my son and step son a year ago and only lately filed for me. Our sons have a DNA test to be done at the Embassy next week. Do you think that because they were filed for before me that they will be leaving before me? Or, will the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services grant all three of us the visa at the same time since we are a family?

Thank you in advance for your help.

CG

Dear CG,

You have not said if your husband is a US citizen or green card holder and how old your sons are.

If the sons are under 21 years old, they should be processed in about a year from the time of filing to interview at the US Embassy, if the processing is done correctly. Currently the minor children of green card holders are taking the same time to be Consular processed as the children of US citizens. The same applies to the spouse of a green card holder or a US citizen – it should take a year to interview.

If your sons are over 21 years of age, it will take about six to seven years for them to be scheduled for an interview. If the father is a green card holder, and his son(s) marry, the petition will be void because a green card holder cannot file for a married son/daughter. If he is a US citizen and either of them gets married, their category will change and the waiting time will increase from approximately six years to around 12 years.

You did not indicate why your husband did not file for the entire family at the same time because he should have. Only by filing for everybody at the same time can you expect to be scheduled for an interview at the same time. Your interview will depend on your time of filing and will most likely be after your sons. However, depending on where your sons are in the process, you could slow down their processing before they are scheduled for their interview.

If your sons are approved for US residency, they will be given six months to leave Jamaica (unless one is approaching 21 years of age and your husband is a permanent resident). Depending on how far apart your filing was from your children, you may be interviewed within that six-month period. However, no matter when you are scheduled, your sons must leave Jamaica before the six-month visa in their passports expire.

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