Can I get residency from my brother who is a citizen and how long will it take exactly? 10 Answers as of January 17, 2011

I am 28. I came into the country legally when I was 6 and had a student visa. I lost the student visa when I did poorly in high school now I am illegal. Can my brother who is a citizen petition for me to become a resident and how long will it take exactly? Thank you.

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Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A.
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A. | Carlos Sandoval
Your brother can petition for you, but that will take around 10 years.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/17/2011
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
Your brother can sponsor you. He must file an I-130 for you and this should be done as soon as possible. There is a waiting list in this preference category which is approximately 10 to 12 years long so it will be a while before you will be eligible to obtain your green card. When your turn in line is reached you will need to return to your home country and apply for a visa at the US Consulate there. Most people who have been in the US without authorization for more than a year would face a 10 year bar on coming back to the US, however, you indicated that you arrived as an F-1 student. So long as you were admitted for duration of status and your I-94 was marked "D/S" you will not face this bar unless USCIS has put you in proceedings or sent you a notice saying that you must go home.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 1/3/2011
The Vega Law Firm
The Vega Law Firm | Linda Vega
Your U.S. Citizen brother can file for your Legal Permanent Residency. However, depending on what country you are from, it could take a few years.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/31/2010
Calderón Seguin PLC
Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
Your brother can file a petition for you in the F4 category. Depending on where you are from, the wait is about 9 years. If you are from Mexico or the Philippines, it will be much longer. The problem is that even though your brother can file a petition and it can be approved, you are not eligible to apply for permanent residence in the U.S. because you are out of status. The general rule is that you would need to depart the U.S. to pick up the immigrant visa at the Embassy and then face potential problems because of your unlawful presence. There may be some other alternatives, but you would probably need to seek more in depth advice from an immigration attorney.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 12/31/2010
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
Your brother can petition for you however, it will take more than 10 years for you to be approved. You are subject to immigration bar. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/31/2010
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    No, you must leave the U.S. and return to the country from which you came and then have your brother begin the petition process in your behalf for lawful permanent residency.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/30/2010
    Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
    Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
    Your brother can petition for you but this does not make you legal nor allow you to remain in the U.S. The curernt wait time in this classification is upwards of ten years so it will not give you an immediate benefit. When the date does become current you will not be able to take advantage of it and file in the U.S. since you are out of status unless you are eligible for Section 245(i). Students do not accrue unlawful presence until USCIS determines you are out of status so you would be able to consular process at that time under current rules.

    You should probably consult with an attorney on your specific situation for more details on what you can and cannot do and whether this would be a good idea for you. We do charge for consultations $350 per hour - but the amount paid would then be a credit toward the fees for your case if we are retained after the consultation for additional work.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/30/2010
    Pauly P.A.
    Pauly P.A. | Clemens W. Pauly
    Your brother can petition for you, but you have two problems: (1) there is a significant waiting period for immigrant visas based on petitions by US citizen brothers (10+ years), and (2) even if your brother's petition were approved and the visa available to you, you could not adjust your status in the US and if you leave to get your green card at a US consulate, you are subject to a 10 year ban from returning to the US. You must contact an immigration lawyer to look into your particular situation and advise you properly.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/30/2010
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
    You brother can petition you if he is U.S. Citizen. How long it takes depends on what country you are from. Generally it takes about 10 years, but if you are from Mexico or the Philippines it will take more than 15 years, to be able to apply for your Green Card based on a petition by a US Citizen brother/sister. However, the petition does not permit you to remain in the U.S. and does not give you any type of legal status.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/30/2010
    Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
    Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
    Length of time varies depending on your country of birth. It takes pretty much between 9 years to 23 years depending on your country. The process is done in two steps. First the family petition, then waiting for the visa to be availble. Finally, the final step is either consular processing (Returning to your contry) or Adjustment in the US. I would need more information about you to determined what last step would be the best for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/30/2010
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