May 13, 2010

An Opportunity of Two (and then some) Lifetimes

SCENARIO: You are a naturalized American citizen, who has legally immigrated to the United States from Mexico, and have the opportunity to be reunited with your brother / sister / mother / father by petitioning for them to join you as a legal immigrant.

How many years would it take for a simple I-130 application (Petition for an Alien Relative) to the USCIS take?

Factor in the time it takes for the the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to process your fee of $355, the petition documents and you will eventually receive a receipt notice stating that you have been put in a waiting line. O.K. Fair enough. There are numerous petitions to process, time must be allowed.
What the USCIS does not state on the receipt notice is that it can take up to 13 years to approve the immigrant visa application. Excuse me, 13 years is a typo. I really meant 131 years.
Let's suppose the immigrant relative you are petitioning for is still alive, and you are not (knock on wood), can the relative still be eligible to be approved by the USCIS?
No. The relative would have to find another U.S. citizen relative to petition for him or her. So the 131 year-cycle begins anew.

This scenario is very real and is based on a review of the immigrant visas issued and adjustments of status for the past five years for Mexican applicants. It is also based on a review of current visa applicants from Mexico already in the queue for immigrant visas based on approved petitions by their U.S. relatives.

So, to put it another way, a Mexico-born brother or sister of a U.S. citizen must wait the equivalent of two lifetimes to immigrate to the United States. Given the choice of waiting more than 100 years for an immigrant visa that will never arrive or slipping illegally across the border to be reunited with family members, many Mexican immigrants have come to the obvious conclusion ... why wait?

Read the entire report published by Attorney at Law, Prakash Khatri here

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