VISAtisfied Voyager’s immigration wizard protects you from the evils of wrong information.
My mother entered the U.S. in 2002 on an E3 (employment) immigrant visa. She is still a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR/greencard holder). Because I was still in grade school at that time, I was not able to go with my mother to the U.S. But now that I have finished studying high school, I would like to follow my mother to the U.S. and go to college there. Am I still qualified to join her in the U.S.? What do I have to do to apply for my immigrant visa?
A few moments after Feliz sent her letter to Vizard, she received this INCORRECT response from VisaMort (who hacked into her email account and obtained a copy of the email):
Dear Ms. Viajero,
I am sorry to hear that you were not able to go with your mother to the U.S. in 2002 as her derivative child. Because so much time has passed, you may not be able to join her anymore unless she files a separate visa petition for you as the child of an LPR.
For a small fee, I can help your mother file the appropriate visa petition for you so that you may be able to join her, and so that you may pursue your dream of studying in the U.S. I will send you further details in a separate email, if you and your mother are interested.
Luckily, Vizard replied with the CORRECT answer before Feliz could contact her mother with VisaMort’s bad news:
Dear Ms. Viajero,
Yes, you are still qualified to join your mother in the U.S. as a following-to-join (FTJ) derivative beneficiary. There is no statutory time period during which the FTJ derivative child must apply. This means that you can apply for the FTJ derivative child immigrant visa at any time, as long as the following qualifications are met:
(1) You remain the unmarried minor child (below 21 years old*) of the principal applicant (your mother); and
(2) The principal applicant has not died, lost status as an immigrant, or become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
If you think you qualify as an FTJ child derivative and would like to schedule an appointment for a visa interview, you may visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph, or call the Visa Information and Appointment Service at (632) 982-5555 and (632) 902-8930. The call center is open Mondays through Fridays, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., except on U.S. and Philippine holidays.
*Unmarried sons and daughters of principal applicants (aged 21 years and above) may apply as FTJ derivative children if they qualify under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).