Very Ill Child Separated from Parents Due to Retrogression02 June 2009
Dear Atty Lou,
I have been working here in the US as a Registered Nurse since January 2007 and got my green card in Aug 2007 through my employer's petition which was done thru adjustment of status from B1/B2 visa to immigrant visa. My husband also got his green card at the same time thru the same process as my beneficiary.
However, the biggest dilemma that we have right now is our kids' situation. They don't have B1/B2 visas so they were left in the Philippines and have been waiting for their immigrant visas since 2006. Their priority date is Aug 25, 2006. Is there any other way of letting them come here in the US and wait here for their green cards? It's very difficult for a family to be separated. We have five (5) kids ages 16, 13, 11(twins), and 9. One of the twins has cerebral palsy and needs urgent medical intervention because of his swallowing problem due to severe spasticity.
I know you understand how a mother suffers when she is away from her growing children. It hurts a lot to leave them there. Although I was able to visit them three times since I came here in April 2006, those short times were never enough to compensate for the pain of daily loneliness as if I were gutted.
Thank you Atty Lou and I hope to hear from you.
RN Mom in Dilemma
Dear RN Mom,
I understand how difficult it must be for you to be separated from your five minor children. The delay in the processing of their applications is due to the “retrogression” of the visas for employment based petitions under the third preference. For the last two years, the third preference petitions which includes Schedule A Nurses petitions retrogressed severely from “current” availability to unavailability due to three/fours years backlog. Early this year, RN petitions retrogressed to 2005. In fact, this month of June 2009, there are no available visas under the third preference for Filipino nationals.
Spouse and children of preference immigrant, including employment based petitions, accompanying or following to join the principal immigrant are entitled to the same status and the same order of consideration as the principal immigrant. The derivative classification of your children attaches immediately upon your approval of immigrant visa and requires no separate visa application. Since your priority date was 2006, while it became current in 2007, it is no longer current at the present moment as per visa bulletin issued by the US Department of State. You and your spouse are lucky to have obtained the visas in 2007 when there was no retrogression of the visas. Unfortunately, for your children, they are now caught in the retrogression and until the priority date of 2006 becomes current again they will not be processed for the immigrant visas.
In regards to your son who has a medical condition, you may want to try to apply for a humanitarian parole with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Generally, this type of visa is obtained to travel to the United States temporarily for emergent reasons. It has occasionally been sought on behalf of non-citizens needing urgent medical treatment in the United States. This humanitarian parole is granted only in cases involving grave humanitarian concerns and in exceptional hardship cases often involving separation of family members.
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)