I am a U S citizen and want to file for my sister who entered the US legally but overstayed?

Asked over 2 years ago - Downey, CA

My sister who just turned 21 entered the U S legally on a passport and Visa from the caribbean which is her place of birth, she overstayed for almost 8 years now, I know that I can file for her but I have a few concerns: she is currently in the US, does she have to leave or can she stay? About how many years wouldn't take for her to get at least a green card? And would it be easier for me to file for my dad who is in the Caribbean but very sick and needs treatment overseas, and then my sister can try to get a green card through him, would that be a faster route? Thanks

Additional information

Her being 21 complicates things how? Do I have to wait till she is older or is she already too old? When she first came up to the states, she was 14, and I was only a green card holder at the time...and my father is not a U S citizen, he is a citizen in the Caribbean, but needs to come over seas for treatment...so I am planning on filing for both of them but my sister really needs help

Attorney answers (4)

  1. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Filing the I-130 for her does not give her any immigration status. It will take over 10 years, based on current priority dates, before her priority date is current. Whether she can file for adjustment of status then will depend on what the law is at that time.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more
  2. Donald Kyle Sheppard

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . Assuming she has not been sponsored for a visa or labor certification previously and eligible for 245(i), she will need to consular process when the visa number is available which coudl be 10-12 years. Whens he departs the US she will trigger illegal presence which is bar to returning without a wavier and it is unclear if she has a qualifying relative for the waiver. If she has more than one year illegal presence she will not be permitted to return for 10 years. As mentioned above, the filing of a visa petition does not give her permission to remain in the US.

  3. Neil Ian Fleischer

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . If you file, it will take 10-12 years and she will not be able to stay in the US during this time. Is your father a citizen? Has he ever filed for her before? The fact she is 21 complicates matters. Best to discuss options with an attorney
    Good luck


    Neil I Fleischer (513) 977-4209 www.immigrate2usa.com Note: Neil Fleischer is an attorney licensed in the State... more
  4. Andre R. Olivie

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . A genuine marriage to a U.S. Citizen is probably the most practical option. Is she dating anyone?

    Andre Olivie, Esq.

    Legal disclaimer: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

27,511 answers this week

2,981 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,511 answers this week

2,981 attorneys answering