Posted on: June 28th, 2017
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In our section of the SIB, attorney Ari Sauer answers immigration law questions sent in by our readers. If you enjoy reading this section, we encourage you to visit Ari’s blog, The Immigration Answer Man, where he provides more answers to your immigration questions. You can also follow The Immigration Answer Man on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have a question on immigration matters, write We can’t answer every question, but if you ask a short question that can be answered concisely, we’ll consider it for publication. Remember, these questions are only intended to provide general information. You should consult with your own attorney before acting on information you see here.


QUESTION: My sister is a US citizen and she filed an F-4 I-130 petition for me 15 years ago. I was born in the Philippines, but I have since moved to Canada and become a citizen of Canada. The wait times for a visa for the Philippines for the F4 category is way longer than the wait time for Canada. Am I now able to use Canada as my country of chargeability for my petition?


ANSWER: Unfortunately, no. You cannot use Canada as your country of chargeability for determining when a visa will become available for your immigrant petition according to the Department of State Visa Bulletin. Obtaining the citizenship of another country does not change your country of chargeability.

There are a few exceptions to the general rule that your county of chargeability is the country of birth. Obtaining the citizenship of another country is not one of those exceptions. Here is a link to a previous post of mine where I discuss what those exceptions are, so that you can see if maybe you qualify for a different country of chargeability based on one of those exceptions.


QUESTION: My dad applied for an I-130 relative petition for me in 2013. After following up with USCIS, we just learned that it was approved in February of 2015. But we never received the approval notice. How can I get a copy of the approval notice for this I-130 petition?


ANSWER:  You can request a duplicate Notice of Approval for your petition, as long as the petition is approved and it has not since been revoked, using immigration Form I-824, which is available on the USCIS website. I will warn you that USCIS is currently taking a long time to adjudicate Forms I-824 requests. The form must be filed by the Petitioner for the petition, which is usually the sponsoring relative or the sponsoring employer (in your case, your father is the Petitioner). If the Form I-824 is filed by the foreign national beneficiary, USCIS probably will not issue the duplicate Approval Notice.

There is a filing fee for this application, so it might be best to have a consultation appointment with me or another experienced immigration attorney first, so that you can determine whether you actually need the duplicate approval notice or not.

When the I-130 approval notice is lost, it often happens because the petitioner (in this case your father), moved and did not update their address with USCIS. So it is important for Petitioners to remember to update their address with USCIS each time they move, throughout the entire process, even after the petition is approved. Updating your address is currently done by submitting an immigration Form AR-11, which can be completed and submitted online, on the USCIS website.


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Disclaimer: This newsletter is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney client relationship. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.