Family Immigration For Beginners
Session 1 held on August 6, 2009
From Douglas Hauer
Filing an I-130 alone is permissible before or after a B-2 visa is issued to your client, but the I-130 should be filed with your client having the good faith intention to leave the U.S. after a brief lawful stay in B-2 status to return to Mexico to complete the immigrant visa process.
From Maria Frenn Kallmeyer
From Eileen Morrison
Categories of Family- Based Immigration
US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents may sponsor certain groups of family members.
A. Immediate relatives are not subject to numerical limits OR per country limits (INA 201 (b)(2)(A)(i))
Immediate relatives come in four flavors and they all involve family relationships with US citizens:
Family Preference Categories (Limited to 480,000 per year worldwide less the number of immediate relatives in the prior year together with the Number of people paroled into the US on humanitarian grounds during the second preceding fiscal year plus the number of unused employment based visas in the preceding year (INA section 201(c)
First: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US citizens: 23,400, plus any number not required for 4th preference;
Second: Spouses, Unmarried Children under 21 years of age and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US permanent residents (green card holders): 114,2000 plus any unused 1st preference numbers
2a: 77% of overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
2b: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US permanent residents, 23% of the overall second preference limitation;
Third: Married Sons and Daughters of US citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences;
Fourth: Brothers and Sisters of US citizens over 21 years of age: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by the first 3 preferences.
NEVER GRANDPARENTS, aunts or uncles or married children of US permanent residents. If someone has a pending I-130 as the unmarried son or daughter of a US permanent resident and then marries, the petition is automatically revoked.
Child: unmarried children under age 21. Son or daughter may be over 21. Stepchildren if relationship created prior to child attaining 18 years of age.
Reading the visa bulletin:
Download at www.travel.state.gov. Type in "Visa Bulletin August 2009" and you'll be able to download the visa bulletin, which consolidates family, business and diversity lottery information.
Page 1 has the various FB categories described. Page 2 has the family-based visa bulletin categories. You're looking for the spouse of a green card holder. Currently processing cases filed on or before January 15, 2005 for the world-wide preference. If you are from Mexico, however, the priority date is September 22, 2002.
FB categories get backlogged based on demand. No more than 7% of total annual immigration may be from any one country. So high rates of immigration on the family or business side produces future family immigration numbers.
Completing and documenting form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
I always have the petitioner and beneficiary complete this in draft. If there are untruthful answers provided, you want to show that the attorney was not responsible for them.
Form I-130 is mostly biographical information.
One thing to watch out for is someone who got their permanent residence status through marriage to a US citizen if the marriage ended in divorce. IF the marriage was long-term, nothing to worry about. But USCIS will be on the lookout for serial petitioners because they may suspect marriage fraud.
If the applicant is in the United States and entered without inspection be careful - three and ten year bars. Want to make sure that you aren't turning someone into the government that you can't ultimately adjust or visa process.
Also in a marriage case be careful if the marriage took place while the beneficiary spouse was in proceedings.
#17 - spouse and children of the relative being sponsored. Don't want to leave someone off and then try to immigration them later.
Documenting the Form I-130:
G-28 on file signed by petitioner.
Proof of the petitioner's US citizenship by birth or naturalization. Proof of the petitioner's LPR status - copy of resident alien card.or htepassport stamp and personal information page from the passport;
Proof of family relationship is the Beneficiary is a spouse:
If child and petitioner is the mother:
Copy of the child's birth certificate showing the name of the mother and the child, date and place of birth
If child and the petitioner is the father:
Copy of the child's birth certificate showing the petitioner is the father, the child's name and date and place of birth
Copy of the marriage certificate showing the parents were married to one another
If the petition is for a child who is born out of wedlock and petitioner is the father.
If the child was NOT legitimated before reaching age 18, must show evidence of the parent-child relationship existed between the father and the child before the child reached age 21. Letters, visits, evidence of support, lived with the child, and otherwise showed interested in the child's welfare.
Brother or sister:
A copy of the petitioner's birth certificate and the beneficiary's birth certificate showing at least one parent in common. If there are different mothers but the fathers are the same, submit copies of he marriage certificates of the father to each mother and show the proof of legal termination of the prior marriage(s) (final divorce decree, annulment, death certificate).
Copy of petitioner's birth certificate showing the mother's name and the petitioner's name, date and place of birth.
Adoptive parent or adoptive child:
Show adoption decree prior to attaining age 16 and proof that the child was in the legal custody of and resided with the parent who adopted him or her for at least two years before or after adoption.
Proof of the marriage certificate of stepparent to the child's natural parent and showing the marriage occurred before the child was 18, and proof of prior marriage termination and copy of steppchild's birth certificate showing the natural parent and the child's names.
Where to find civil documents by country:
Where to file a standalone I-130?
File the I-130 form with check payable to the Department of Homeland Security for $355 stapled to the G-28.
Use overnight mail.
If your petitioner lives in the West:
If your petitioner lives in the East:
If you're filing to adjust:
Petitioner's living in Canada file at Vermont Service Center or at nearly US embassy or consulate.
Adam Walsh Act:
Both petitioners and beneficiary undergo security checks. A petitioner will not be able to sponsor a family-based petition unless the Secretary of Homeland Security exercises his or her sole and unreviewable discretion that the petitioner poses no risk to the beneficiary.
Any person convicted of sex offenses against a minor - including kidnapping (except parental kidnapping), solicitation to engage in sexual conduct, possession, production or distribution of child pornography; video voyeurism, solicitation to practice prostitution or sexual performance, etc.
Grounds of Exclusion:
These are reasons people would not be allowed to immigrate to the US. In some instances, a waiver of the ground of exclusion is possible. In others, the prospective immigrant will be disqualified from immigrating to the US.