In our Ask 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 [email protected]. 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.


1) QUESTION: In 2009 my father filed an I-130 for me which was approved. I am unmarried and over the age of 21, so I was in the F2B category. However, my father recently obtained his US citizenship. My understanding is that my father’s naturalization changes my case category from F2B to F1. However, the waiting time for F1 is longer compare to F2B. Is there any way to keep my case category changing from F1 to F2b? Thank you!

ANSWER: Yes, there is a way under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). I am assuming that you were born in the Philippines, as currently the F1 category is only behind the F2B category for those who are chargeable to the Philippines. For those born in the Philippines (or who are otherwise chargeable to the Philippines) who wish to opt out of being in the F1 category, and remain in the F2B category, the current process for “opting out” is to send in a written request to the USCIS Field Office Director in Manila.

But you may want to consider waiting until you are closer to having a visa available for your petition’s priority date under the DOS Visa Bulletin, as it is possible that the situation may change in the future and the F1 category might become more desirable.


2) QUESTION: I have filed my I-485 green card application, along with an application for work authorization. I was fingerprinted by immigration last week. How long will it take to receive my work authorization card?

ANSWER: For applications for work authorization (I-765) that are based upon an Application for Adjustment of Status (I-485, also called a green card application) are required, by regulation, to be adjudicated by USCIS within 90 days. This means that USCIS must either approve the application, deny the application, or issue a Request for Evidence (RFE), within 90 days of the receipt date on the receipt notice. If it has been 75 days from the receipt date for your application, and you have not received notice that your case was adjudicated, or you did not receive an RFE, then you or your attorney can contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center and request that a referral be submitted to the Service Center handling the application so that your application will be adjudicated within the 90 day period.

It is always recommended that you file applications to renew the work authorization card 120 days before the expiration date on your current work authorization card.


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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.

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