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Can I change my status from F1 to green card through family immigration?

Los Angeles, CA |

My sister is a US citizen and she has filled I 130 for my mom. I am currently on F1 visa and I am under 21, so what would be the fastest way form me to change my status to green card.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Not likely through your sister (as that would take 10+ years). Perhaps through your mom once she has a green card and you remain unmarried, but even that route will take many years and you have to maintain status the whole time if you want to be eligible to adjust.

    You can visit the department of state to see how quickly/slowly propriety dates become available: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5803.html.

    Ultimately, you should speak with an attorney in detail to see what options might be available to you.

    The information offered is general in nature and not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult an attorney prior to making legal decisions. Visit us at www.tunitskylaw.com. Contact us at 713.335.5505 or email at veronica@tunitskylaw.com. Veronica Tunitsky offers in-person, as well as telephone and email consultations.


  2. In general terms as long as you remain in status on your non-immigrant visa, in this case the F-1 visa you can change status to another non-immigrant visa or to an immigrant visa based on a preference category petition. Once you fall out of status though, you can only apply for a green card, i.e. adjust status here in the US if your sponsor/petitioner is your immediate relative, i.e. your US citizen spouse or parent if you are under 21, i.e. a "child." Your mother is an "immediate relative" or your US citizen sister, i.e. there is no waiting period for her to obtain a green card. BUT, you cannot ride on the coattails of your sister's application for the benefit of your mom. Your sister could file a Family preference category 4 I-130 for you but this can take up to 15 years and does not confer any immediate benefits on you. It should take about 4-6 months for your mom to get her green card through your sister. Once she gets it, she can immediately file for you and sponsor you for an I-130 in Family Preference category 2A, i.e. child (under 21) of a Legal Permanent Resident. But there is a waiting period and you must maintain your own F-1 until the I-130 is approved and the priority date (your number in line for a green card is reached and is current) and a green card application (adjustment of status application) is filed on your behalf. You can google US Visa Bulletin and then scroll to Family Category 2A and check the current priority date and that will give you an idea of how long the wait will be for you to obtain your green card through your mom.
    Very truly yours,
    Haroen ("Harun") Calehr, LLM*
    Attorney at Law Calehr & Associates
    Board Certified-Immigration and Nationality Law
    Texas Board of Legal Specialization
    Air Liquide Building
    Galleria Tower I
    2700 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 1220
    Houston, Texas 77056
    (713) 266-9299 Telephone
    (713) 621-8909 Facsimile
    calehrlaw@yahoo.com
    www.calehrlawfirm.com
    *Member College State Bar of Texas
    Masters in Admiralty & Maritime Law
    Licensed in Texas; New York; Washington, D.C.

    Mr. Calehr's response is NOT legal advice and does NOR does it create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. You should seriously consider a consultation with Mr. Calehr to determine your individual immigration situation.


  3. Unfortunately it will take quite some time to obtain permanent residence through your mother or sister. Your best option would be to finish your studies under your F1, and obtain a job that is a professional position that requires a bachelors degree. You can then try to apply through that employer for an employment based green card. This option obviously assumes that you are currently studying to obtain your Bachelor's degree. I would definitly contact an immigration attorney and explain your particular case so they may advise you what are your options after knowing more facts of your indivisual case.

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