Does having a relative in the U.S. increase your chances of getting a green card? 3 Answers as of November 03, 2010

My sister married an American and now she lives in the U.S. as a citizen. I currently live in Taiwan. Does this increase my chances of obtaining a green card?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
If your sister is eligible, by getting her original legal residency more than five years ago (even though she's now a citizen), she can petition for you, for you are eligible as her brother (brother of a U.S. citizen) as what is called a Fourth Family Preference Category (for siblings of U.S. citizens). The problem is that, once she has filed a petition, and assuming it is approved (after 4-6 months), your name is given a priority date, which places you in a queue that will not give you eligibility to apply for adjustment of status (the actual green card application), until the State Department in its Visa Bulletin declares that your date is eligible for consular processing. That waiting period may last for 7-14 years. In the meantime, you would have to engage in other alternatives to coming to America, such as student or temporary work visas. You will likely need the services of an attorney, and if you wish, feel free to call or e-mail me to set up an appointment for a consultation in more depth, either in person or by phone.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/3/2010
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
Your sister can petition for you if she is already a US citizen. The waiting time is about 8 to 9 years as of now. If you have other questions, I can type in Chinese. Please feel free to email me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/23/2010
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
No, it simply means that your US citizen sister can petition for you but that petition will take about 10-12 years before you can be eligible for an immigrant visa so that's probably not practical for you. The better route would be for you to probably find a job in the US and seek a work visa through the employer. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or how I can be of further assistance to you in this matter.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/22/2010
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