Both permanent residents and US citizens can file a family petition, with the goal of obtaining an immigrant visa for a relative who is outside the United States. In today's blog we will be explaining what happens with the family petition when the resident becomes a citizen.
Family petitions are filed by US citizens as well as by permanent residents. The categories of beneficiaries that US citizens can petition are broader than that of permanent residents. For more information on category types and how family petitions work, visit our blog and our YouTube channel.
If a permanent resident becomes a citizen and has a family petition pending, USCIS automatically changes the visa category available for family members who are beneficiaries of the family petition. For example, the spouse of the permanent resident becomes the spouse of an American citizen, and his/her visa will be automatically available, once the family petition is approved, since he/she becomes an immediate relative. This provides certain benefits, since the spouse will no longer have to wait for a visa to be available to immigrate to the United States, and their process will be much more expeditious.
In the case of children, if the beneficiary of the family petition is a minor, the beneficiary's age is frozen on the date the permanent resident became a citizen. If the children are of legal age, the process is a bit more complex. The adult child of a resident who becomes a citizen will automatically change his immigration category at the moment the petitioner becomes a citizen. However, if the visa availability wait time for the unmarried children of permanent residents is less than that of the unmarried children of the citizens, the visa beneficiary could apply to USCIS to stay in the same category. To do this, the beneficiary must request to USCIS in writing to stay in the same immigration category.
While it is true that becoming a US citizen can be greatly beneficial, having legal proceedings pending could be cumbersome. If you need help with your immigration case, call us today. The first consultation is free. We will evaluate your case for free and work out the best strategy to follow for your problem. In Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. your problem is our problem.