Young client successfully immigrates to the United States with Immigrant Visa Process (IVP) to live with LPR mother

In early 2016, a mother, citizen of the Dominican Republic and U.S. lawful permanent resident, came to my office to discuss her young daughter’s immigration situation. By the time we spoke, the daughter, age fourteen, had been living in the United States for over a year without any status. The mother had previously filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and needed help with completing the process to obtain lawful permanent residence for her daughter.

I spoke with both the mother and daughter together to better understand the disposition of the daughter’s immigration situation. The mother stated that two (2) Form I-130 petitions were filed on behalf of her daughter: the first petition was filed by the daughter’s U.S citizen stepfather, but received a Request For Evidence (RFE) and was not pursued further; and the second petition was filed in 2013 by the mother (under preference category F2A), which was ultimately approved in 2015.

The mother explained that in 2014 the daughter came to the United States for a visit, but remained only after the daughter’s living situation changed in her home country of Aruba. Specifically, the daughter was living with her grandmother in Aruba; however, during the daughter’s visit her grandmother fell ill and moved to the Netherlands leaving the daughter with no where to live.

After verifying the existence of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, I explained the options available to the daughter to obtain lawful permanent residence. Based on the facts of the case, I provided three options to consider, each having their own costs, risks, and benefits. The options included: (1) mother naturalizing and daughter adjusting her status within the United States, (2) applying for an immigrant visa through the Immigrant Visa Process (IVP), or (3) having daughter apply for Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) status. Based on the wishes of the mother, we decided to pursue an immigrant visa through the Immigrant Visa Process (IVP).

As with the other options, the immigrant visa process had risks. My main concern was that after the daughter departed the United States to attend her immigrant visa interview, she would be denied an immigrant visa and then be unable to return to the United States. It is important to note that the daughter was in the United States without status for over a year. As result, she may have accumulated unlawful presence, which would bar her from reentering the United States after she departed for her immigrant visa interview. Fortunately, due to her age, she did not accrue unlawful presence and thus was not subject to INA § 212(a)(9)(C).

Another issue the mother needed to address was the requirement to prove that she had adequate financial means to support her daughter. At the time, the mother was unable to meet the financial threshold set out in the Form I-864P, Poverty Guidelines on her own. However, after learning that the mother also shared a residence with her U.S. citizen brother, she was able to combine both her and her brother’s income to meet the financial threshold. Thus, in addition to the mother filing a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, her brother also submitted a Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member.

In March of 2016, mother paid the required fees and submitted all IVP paperwork for processing. The daughter’s immigrant visa interview was subsequently scheduled and travel plans were made. Last week, I was delighted to hear that the daughter attended her visa interview and was granted an immigrant visa. Daughter returned to the United States this week as a lawful permanent resident. Daughter told me she looks forward to enjoying her summer vacation before returning to school as a high school freshman. I wish her the best!

Obtaining lawful permanent residence can be tricky, so be careful. If you or someone you know is facing a similar situation, please call my office and set up a consultation to speak with me.