Archive for the ‘Family-based’ Category

Bona Fide Marriage Explained By New York Daily News

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

In one of my previous post, I tried to explain bona fide marriage and list a set of documents needed to prove bona fide marriage. In the simplest term, bona fide marriage means that the marriage is real. Today, I came across this article published on April 13th, 2012 in New York Daily News which further explains this and answer some common questions about getting green card through marriage. Hope you find it informative and useful.


I-797: Getting A Duplicate Copy

August 5, 2011 3 comments

I-797 is the approval notice of family green card petition. If you lose this document, you will need to file a I-824 to request a duplicate copy. The filing fee of I-824 is $405.00 and the average processing time of I-824 ranges from 3 months to 8 months.

If your original application or petition was approved by Vermont Service Center or Texas Service Center (receipt number starting with EAC or SRC), the I-824 should be mailed to USCIS Dallas Lockbox.

If your original application or petition was approved by California Service Center or Nebraska Service Center (receipt number starting with LIN or WAC), the I-824 should be mailed to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox.

Detailed instructions of how to complete the I-824 can be found here.


Green Card Through Family: Petitioning for Sibling (California Process Center)

April 19, 2011 2 comments

In a phone conversation with an USCIS customer service representative, I was notified that due to the large amount of backlog of I-130 in the California process center, there will be very little progress made to Green Card petition filed for siblings in the California process center. So if you filed a petition for your brother or sister in the California process center, do not be TOO concern if the status of your case is stuck at initial review. When the petition is processed, the “priority date” of the petition will be backdated and will reflect when the application is submitted, hence the backlog in the process center should not affect the time it will take to receive green card.

Green Card Through Family: How Long Does It Take to Get Green Card

April 4, 2011 2 comments

As mentioned in the previous blog, speed at which green card application is processed is not determined by the “family category.” How long it takes to get a green card is determined by “preference category” and the nationality of the immigrant. The higher the preference category (F1 is highest – F4 is lowest), generally the faster the green card will be issued. The different preference category are:

(1)F1 – Unmarried sons and daughters of citizens

(2)F2A – Spouses and children of permanent resident

(3)F2B – Unmarried sons and daughters of permanent resident

(4)F3 – Married sons and daughters of citizens

(5)F4 – Brothers and sisters of adult citizens

The exact time it takes for one to receive a green card fluctuates and can be determined by viewing the latest visa bulletin.

For immigration purpose, it is important to distinguish the difference between “children” and “sons and daughters”. In the context above, “children” is defined as a person under 21 years old, and “sons and daughters” is defined as offspring that is over 21 years old.

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