Asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: Hello, I'm a 20 year old international student on an F1 visa. And I have a question about family preference green card.

My brother, a U.S. citizen, is petitioning for my parents to come to the U.S. The plan was that I get a family preference green card based on the one that they would receive when they arrive. However, with all the NVC processing and COVID delays, the cases got held up for more than two years and a half. Now, I'll be turning 21 in less than a month. Is there a way for me to maintain my F2A family preference?


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1 Lawyer Answer
Al Parsad
Al Parsad
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Rohnert Park, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If I understood your question correctly, your brother has petitioned for your parents when you were under 21, you believe you have acquired F2A status as the result, and you want to know how to maintain that status.

While US citizens can file a petition for their parents (as immediate relatives) and name their siblings in their parents’ petition, that does not confer any benefit to the siblings even if they were minors at the time of filing.

To obtain a second preference (F2A) status, you must be the child of a lawful permanent resident who files for you directly, or you could be a derivative beneficiary if your parents were the beneficiary under a preference category (F1 – F4). However, your parents are/were beneficiaries under immediate relative category, which does not allow derivative beneficiaries. You were probably mentioned in your brother’s petition for your parents, but on that basis alone, I don’t see how you could’ve acquired F2A status unless one of your parents filed a petition for you directly after they received their green card, and please clarify if that's the case.

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