Do I have to wait for years to come to the U.S.?
Question: I have been waiting for many years to come to the United States from a petition from my sister. It has been 14 years. Must I still wait?
Answer: Actually, it takes even more years to do this. The visa number must be current and there is no way to speed this process up. However, there are different petitions where they do not have to wait for the visa number as they are not required to be on the visa waiting list to be able to come into the United States.
Question: What types of petitions are these?
Answer: Battered spouses/children; Returning resident aliens; Certain former U.S. Citizens; Qualifying ministers of religion and religious workers; and Certain widows and widowers of U.S. citizens.
Question: Can I have more than 1 petition go through at a time, or must I wait for my petition from my sister to become current.
Answer: You can have as many petitions as you like. It is like two horses going around the track. The first one to the finish line wins. Thus, for example, if you have a church that will petition you for the special immigrant religious petition, by all means try to get it.
Question: So which petition are on the visa waiting chart?
Answer: The basic category includes Family-based preference immigrants; Employment-based preference immigrants; Diversity immigrants; and Family unity immigrants.
Question: What about temporary visas? Can I come in temporarily while waiting?
Answer: Most of the time, the answer would be no. However, there is what is known as the H-1B work visa which allows both immigrant processing and the H-1B to go forward at exactly the same time. You will need to have an employer agree to sponsor you for a job. It does not need to be a full-time position, but it should be related to your degree. Once filed, this petition only takes about 6 months to process.
Another type of petition for a non-immigrant visa would be the L-1. An L-1 Visa is one of the nicest working visas as it allows you to run your own business or a business owned by the foreign company. If you have your own business outside the U.S. and have been working there for at least one year, you can come to the U.S. on the L-1 Visa.
Additionally, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old can come as beneficiaries to your approved L-2. Your children will be able to go to school in the U.S. without having to get a separate student visa (as long as they are not in college.). A great deal of the success of the L-1 Petition is how it is prepared. Unlike other investment related visas, the investment in the U.S. business could be as low as $10,000U.S.
Thus, there are several ways to avoid the multiple years of waiting outside the U.S.