October 13, 2008: Immigrant Visa Cross-Chargeability, Foreign State Chargeability

Immigrant Visa Cross-Chargeability, Foreign State Chargeability

I am a US citizen who petitioned for his Mexican-born daughter in 1999. She has 3 kids: 2 from a previous relationship (not married) and 1 from her present husband. Her husband is from Guatemala. Is it true that she and her husband and kids can immigrate faster because of the place of birth of her husband?
— Anonymous

Yes. The general rule is that a person’s immigrant visa is “chargeable” to that person’s country of birth, meaning that the more immigrant visas issued to persons born in that country, the more “oversubscribed” that country’s visa allocation will be. Thus, the country to which a person’s visa is chargeable is hugely important because certain countries with high demand, such as Mexico, remain backlogged or even unavailable for long periods of time. So it is a good idea to see if one of the exceptions to the general rule can be used to gain a permanent resident visa faster. For example, the Mexico 3rd preference for October, 2008, reveals that visas are available for person with priority dates earler than September 15, 1992. The All Chargeability Areas category shows availabilty for 3rd preference case with priority dates earlier than June 22, 2000. Clearly, the All Chargeability area is more favorable to your daughter and family if she can qualify for it, and I think she can pursuant to 22 C.F.R. sectin 42.12(c) which allows cross-chargeability to your daughter’s husband’s country, Guatemala, which is in the All Chargeability Areas category. If all this sounds a bit confusing, it is because this is a very technical area of immigration and consular law! I urge you to retain the services of a qualified immigration laywer to help your daughter and her family in the processing of their permanent residency visas. Good luck!

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Imigration Lawyers