Multiple Petitions acceptable to the USCIS
There is a myth in the immigrant’s community that has no legal basis in the United States. It is that you cannot file two separate applications with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.
Many immigrants have suffered the consequences of believing this myth without verifying with any immigration attorneys. Many opportunities slip by many immigrants because they are yet to file the application that would help them in their pursuit of permanence in the United States.
Take for example, an immigrant who came into the United States in 1999. The brother of this immigrant is a U.S. citizen. On or about December 21, 2000, the then President Clinton signed a law that allowed anyone who entered the United States before that date and had a petition filed before April 30, 2001 to pay a $1000 as penalty to be able to obtain their permanent resident status in the United States. This immigrant met the requirement, but because she was eyeing applying through marriage, she did not press her brother to file for her.
She got married few weeks after April 30, 2001, but the marriage collapsed before the end of that same year. She has remained an illegal alien ever since. Had the brother filed the petition as a backup plan, in another month, she would have been eligible to obtain her green card through her brother, but she lost that opportunity by either being pennywise or because she got some wrong counsel.
Let me make it categorically clear, it is okay to file more than one petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. My advice to all immigrants is to apply through all programs available to you. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Once you obtain your green card through one of the program, you can then withdraw all other pending petitions. If you restrict yourself to just one petition when you have other options, you might regret it later.
Recently, an immigrant came to consult with me. The family made a fundamental mistake years ago by not having multiple petitions filed. It was a case relating to siblings abroad. The mother of these over 21 potential immigrants was a permanent resident alien. Their siblings in the United States were U.S. citizens. The family met and decided that their mother should file because her petition will mature quicker than siblings petition which would take about 10years. It was also hoped that their mother would become a U.S. citizen down the line. Yes, they were right in their calculations, but they made one mistakes of not filing both the siblings and mother’s petitions. Only their mother filed for these potential immigrants.
About 7years into the filing, around the time the petition filed by their mother was to become green card, this mother died. In fact they were in the process of finalizing the documents that would lead to the interview at the U.S. Embassy abroad. As soon as the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and National Visa Center became aware of the death of their mother, they terminated the petition and the process. They lost everything including all the monies paid. They lost 7years too. There was no back up. I do not want any immigrant to make this type of mistake again. It is okay to file multiple applications with the USCIS because of the possibility of occurrences such as the one described above.
At USI News, we will continue to inform you of what could lead to your breakthrough in your pursuit of permanent resident status. Our approach is to meet the need of one immigrant at a time.
This article is for your information only; it is not a legal advice and should not be substituted for legal advice that can only be given by an attorney after evaluating your peculiar situation.
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