Irish Pastoral Centre

By Kieran C. O’Sullivan, Immigration Counselor

Email me your immigration query or a topic you would like us to cover today:
One of my calls this week was from an Irish lady who has just become a US citizen. She has a brother in the US who is still awaiting visa status and she wondered if she could file paperwork to get him status here.
She was advised that she could file a family based I-130 alien relative petition. This form is available free of charge on line at the US government website:
The attorney I checked with on this case, Chris Lavery advised that, although her brother is out of status and there is a minimal risk that filing papers on his behalf draws the attention of the immigration authorities to him, the risks are greatly outweighed by the potential benefits of a valid avenue to lawful status. In the course of his practice, he has never seen ICE use the information in such filings to locate overstays for removal.
We also warned her to be careful on the internet because many sites with similar addresses to the one above are charging people lots of money for forms and general information which is free on the government website.
The following are the family based preference categories.
First: Unmarried sons and daughters of citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
Second: Spouses and children, and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent
residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:
A. Spouses and children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation,
of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third: Married sons and daughters of citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth: Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.
There are huge backlogs in many of the categories. This lady’s brother will wait about twelve years before his visa number will be reached. Even then he needs changes in legislation to allow him to adjust his status here in the US since he entered as a tourist and overstayed.
IPC Legal clinic
We invite all callers and readers to have immigration application forms reviewed free of charge at our monthly clinics. On Tuesday June 5th, we have a free legal clinic beginning at 6:30 pm at The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester. Leading US immigration attorneys including Chris Lavery and Dan Harrington provide free one to one consultations on a range of immigration topics from visas to US citizenship.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.