Wed | Dec 8, 2021

Immigration Corner | Can we expedite a green card?

Published:Tuesday | March 9, 2021 | 12:08 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

M y son’s aunt filed for her brother, my son’s father, and included him, from 2007.

It has been over 13 years and they still haven’t heard anything.

What, if anything, can they do to expedite the process or get some information on the actual status of the application?

Thank you.

– A.S.

Dear A.S.,

As a US citizen, the petitioner filing for her brother is in the category that takes the longest in the green card process. That petition goes in the fourth preference category and is currently taking more than 14 years for a visa to become available. In March 2021, visas are available for people who were filed for before October 22, 2006. However, those who were filed for before October 1, 2007, are having their paperwork processed in anticipation of the visa interview.

Congress allocated 65,000 visas per year in this category, and the fact that it is taking over 14 years for a visa to become available means that hundreds of thousands of people are waiting in this category for a visa. It is not inconceivable when you consider that there is no limit to the number of people that any one person can petition for to come to America, and that a sibling would want to petition for all their siblings.

When you consider this large demand for the limited number of visas, you can understand why this category takes this long. Added to that, with the pandemic that closed US embassies all over the world in 2020 and the 2020 presidential ban instituted by the former US president, you can expect that the waiting time might be longer. The ban prohibited persons in the sibling category from being interviewed and receiving green cards, and this contributed to a tremendous backlog. Although the ban has been rescinded, it will take some time for the backlog to be cleared as we continue to live with the COVID-19 pandemic.

You should be able to get information from the National Visa Center with the KNG case number. You can also review the monthly visa bulletin to see the visa availability in the category, to get an idea of when your paperwork will be ready for processing and when your visa will be available.

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 diversity and inclusion consultant; and former special magistrate and hearing officer in Broward County, Florida.