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U.S. Citizen Petitions His Filipino Wife Who Is Already In the United States and Her Children Who are in the Philippines

Because the laws and procedures in obtaining permanent residency for your family members are so complex, I think it may be very helpful to you if I illustrate the process by way of real-life examples.

Disclaimer. The following is intended only to give you a general idea of the topic.  It is NOT intended to be legal advice. Everyone’s goals and situations are unique. Please consult an attorney to determine which method is best for your specific goals.

Christian, a U.S. citizen, recently married his wife Amy.  While courting Amy, Christian learned that Amy had entered the United States several years ago on a tourist visa and was now out of status (TNT).  He also learned that she has children back in the Philippines.

Attorney Avelino explained to them that although overstaying your tourist visa is never encouraged and illegal, the immigration laws will still allow Amy to adjust her status to a lawful permanent resident based on her marriage to a U.S. citizen as an Immediate Relative as long as she is otherwise admissible.  Since Amy’s children were under the age of eighteen when they got married, Christian can also file petitions for them as their Step-Father.

With the help of Attorney Avelino, they file the family petition and application to adjust status for Amy.  At the same time, they also file family petitions for Amy’s children in the Philippines.

In a couple months, the couple is scheduled to appear at the adjustment interview at their local USCIS office.  Attorney Avelino prepares them for the interview and they pass the interview without any problems and the officer informs them he is approving their case.

Shortly after the interview, USCIS informs the couple that the immigrant petitions filed for Amy’s kids have also been approved and the approved petitions are being forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.  With the help of Attorney Avelino, the couple submits all of the required documentation to the NVC and the NVC schedules the children for an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.

With the help of Attorney Avelino, Amy’s children prepare all the necessary documents they will need to bring to the interview.  They pay the visa application fees and get their medical examinations completed at St. Luke’s Medical Center Extension Clinic (SLMCEC).  After consulting with Attorney Avelino and their parents on what they can expect at the interview, they go to the interview feeling confident and are approved for their immigrant visas.  Shortly afterwards, their passports with the immigrant visa stamp are delivered to them by courier.

However, before they can leave the Philippines on their immigrant visas, there are at least two things they must do.

They must register with the Commission on Filipino Overseas’ (CFO) and attend its guidance and counseling seminar.  The seminar aims to prepare them for the adjustments they will have to take by moving to the United States.  Emigrants aged 12 and below are exempted from attending the seminar but are still required to register with the CFO.

The parents must also check with the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development if their children will be needing a Travel Clearance Form for minors.  Generally, a travel clearance is necessary when a minor is traveling alone to a foreign country or traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than his or her parents.

Once all the departure requirements are completed, the children are ready to depart the Philippines to be reunited with their family in the United States.

Other Real Life Examples for Family Based Petitions