“I am not Irish but I’m hoping you can help answer my question. I am a citizen of the U.S. and my brother has a green card. He has an 17-year-old son in his home country who he would like to sponsor for a green card. I am sure that I read somewhere that his son will be able to come here legally and wait for the green card to be approved. Is this true? How can my brother get started on bringing his son here? He is divorced from his son’s mother but they are on good terms and she agrees that America would be a good place for their son to be now that he will soon be done with schooling.”

YOUR brother’s son will not be able to come to the U.S., maintain legal status and wait for his visa to be approved.

You are likely thinking of the V visa classification, which was approved in 2000.  V visas could be issued to spouses and minor children (under 21) of green card holders who had petitions filed on their behalf on or before December 21, 2000.

The intention of the V visa was to encourage family unity and curtail the waiting time that spouses and children would have to endure.  But because the 2000 date is 13 years old at this point, the State Department says it doesn’t anticipate issuing any V visas in the future.

Green card holders can sponsor spouses and minor children under the family 2A preference category, which has offered some recent great news – the processing time for September 2013 is current, which means there is no backlog of prior cases waiting to be completed.

Therefore, your brother should seek qualified immigration assistance and immediately file the I-130 paperwork for his son with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

The 2A category is usually backlogged with at least a two-year wait, so immigration experts are encouraging those who are eligible to sponsor relatives for a 2A green card to do so as soon as possible as the category will likely oversubscribe in the future.

Among the items that will need to be included with your nephew’s paperwork are copies of his birth certificate, and copies of the marriage certificate and divorce decree.

His case will be forwarded to the U.S. consular office in his home country, and if the process goes smoothly the teen could be here before the end of the year.