Can a US Citizen Petition His Nephew and Niece?19 October 2009
Dear Atty. Lou,
I am a U.S. citizen. I have a nephew and niece who both grew up with me when I was still in the Philippines, their mothers are my sisters. I considered them as my son and daughter and I want to bring both of them here.
My nephew (28 years old) has a degree in Business Administration and has a medical problem (scoliosis) and my niece (a minor) is in her first year in high school and now being taken cared of by my mother. Actually, I know a way for them to come here but as a visitor or tourist or for medical reason but I want them to stay here and live with me permanently because I love them so much. I don't have any problem about with my wife regarding this matter. Is there any possible way for me to file an immigrant petition for them? Can you please advice me what is the best thing to do.
Many thanks and more power!
The Loving Uncle
Dear Loving Uncle,
I understand how much you want your nephew and niece to live with you in the US as you consider them your family members as well, Unfortunately, US immigration policy allows only US citizens and/or lawful permanent residents to petition their sons and daughters. The nieces and nephews are not permitted to be beneficiaries of a petition for immigrant visa unless they are considered adopted children. In your particular case, you did not mention that you petitioned them as your adopted children before they turned 16 years old. If they were judicially adopted as your children, you may have the opportunity to petition them as your own child.
If they enter the United States as visitors, they may not live with your permanently much as you want to. For the nephew who has a bachelor’s degree, he may want to explore employment petition to be able to apply for an immigrant visa. If your niece is less than 16 years old, you may want to look into the possibility of judicially adopting her and then file for her immigrant petition as your adopted child.
Dear Atty Lou,
My mother was in the Phil. for almost 6 months and only discovered that her Green card was expired on her day of her departure. The airline PAL would not allow her to travel because of her expired card. Is this the usual procedure? I hope you can clarify my inquiry.
Thank you for your time and hard work.
An immigrant must possess valid travel documentation upon entering the United States. For the immigrant, a valid green card or a lawful stamped on the passport will be proof of lawful status in the US. If the green card is expired, the immigrant must obtain either a returning resident visa or a boarding letter from the US Embassy Consular Section. This returning resident visa or a boarding letter will indicate that the immigrant has not abandoned his/her status as a resident of the US. The returning resident visa has a fee when applying. This is not a new policy. It has been applied in cases where residents apply for appropriate documentation to re-enter the United States. I hope this information is helpful.
*(Lourdes Santos Tancinco, Esq is a partner at the Tancinco Law Offices, a Professional Law Corp. Her office is located at One Hallidie Plaza, Ste 818, San Francisco CA 94102 and may be reached at 415.397.0808; email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check their website at www.tancinco.com. The content provided in this column is solely for informational purpose only and do not create a lawyer-client relationship. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. This column does not disclose any confidential or classified information acquired in her capacity as legal counsel. Consult with an attorney before deciding on a course of action. You can submit questions to email@example.com