My sister is a United States citizen should she file an i-130 petition for me?

I entered the United States with a Visa but it expired should my sister file an i-130 for me? Are there any advantages or disadvantages? Would I have to do consular processing?

A: If your sister is not a US citizen, she could not file an I-130 for you. If she is a US citizen, it would still take more than 10 years before you could apply for a green card based on your sister’s petition. You would have to do consular processing, but if you leave after spending more than a year in the US without legal status, you will then have to wait outside the US another 10 years!

It may be possible for you to adjust status (obtain a green card without leaving the US), but only if your US citizen spouse, parent or adult child files a petition for you. The laws regarding “unlawful presence” and the resulting 3-year and 10-year “bars” are complicated and harsh, so you will need to understand them clearly, in order to make the best choice as to what path will be the best one.

Answered By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C. – Attorney Mark Egan
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Re-Published from: AVVO Legal Questions and Answers

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