Long Green Card Waits For U.S. Citizen Siblings

Q: My friend’s niece is coming from China to study here. Can her mother, my sister, join her here? My friend married a U.S. citizen and moved to the United States from China. She studied and passed her citizenship test and now she is a U.S. citizen. She wants her sister, who lives in China and is divorced with a teenage daughter, to come to the United States to live. Recently, the U.S. consul granted the daughter a visa because to study in a private school in the United States. She will be arriving at the end of this month. What is the fastest way that my friend’s sister can get an immigrant visa to come to the United States?

Anthony, New York

A: Unless the sister has a needed skill, an advanced degree or $500,000 to invest, she has a long wait to get permanent residence. To come to live here permanently based on your U.S. citizen friend’s petition, she has a wait of about 12 years.

Our family immigration system, allocates only 65,000 visas per year to the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. For China and most of the rest of the world, the wait for an immigrant visa for the sibling of a U.S. citizen is 12 years. For some countries, the wait is longer.

Q: My brother will have been married three years on May 26, 2013. Can he apply to become a U.S. citizen before his conditional green card expires in April 2014? My brother is married to a U.S. citizen. He became a conditional permanent resident, with a two-year green card, based on his wife’s petition in April 2012.

Dorothy, Sayreville, NJ

A: Your brother can naturalize in April 2015, after he has been a permanent resident for three years. He can apply to naturalize three months before the third anniversary of his becoming a conditional permanent resident. That’s assuming he is still married to and living with the same U.S. citizen wife. His time in conditional resident status counts toward naturalization. However, though he will have been married to a U.S. citizen for three years in May 2013, that’s not the test.

To qualify to naturalize under the three-year rule for the spouse of a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident must have been married to and living with the same U.S. citizen spouse while a permanent resident. Your brother won’t have met those conditions until April 2015.

Q: Can my brother and his wife extend their reentry permits so they can continue to care for our father in India? My brother and wife immigrated two years ago after waiting many years to get their visas. I am a U.S. citizen and I petitioned for them. Because my father cannot care for himself, they obtained USCIS reentry permits and returned to India. Those permits will soon expire. While they are searching for someone to help him, they have yet to find a suitable caretaker.

Babu, New York

A. Your brother and his wife can extend their stay abroad, but they must return to the United States to apply again for reentry permission.

Immigration law does not limit how long a permanent resident may stay abroad without losing permanent resident status. However, a permanent resident must be in the United States to apply for a reentry permit.

The permit, valid for travel abroad for up to two continuous years, is a way for a permanent resident to tell immigration that he or she plans a trip abroad that could last a year or longer.

Allan Wernick is an attorney and director of the City University of New York’s Citizenship Now! project. Send emails to questions@allanwernick.com.

Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/long-green-card-waits-u-s-citizen-siblings-article-1.1463933

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