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My mother filed an F2B petition for me and my children on March 11, 2002, when she was still a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR/Greencard Holder). While waiting for my priority date to become current, my mother became a naturalized U.S. citizen in July 2009. Does that mean my visa category and my priority date will be changed? How will this affect my waiting time? If this will prolong my waiting time, is there a way to avoid these changes? I hope you can advise me what to do next.
Thank you in advance.
Dear Ms. Megrante,
As you know, when your mother filed the visa petition for you in 2002 as the daughter of an LPR, it was under the F2B category. However, when your mother naturalized in 2009, you were automatically re-categorized as the daughter of a United States citizen, under the F1 category.
While your priority date of March 11, 2002, stayed the same, there are some countries where the priority date for F2B applicants is more current than for F1 applicants. This is true for the Philippines, where visa numbers for F2B applicants become available sooner than for F1 applicants. What this means for you is that when your mother became a U.S. citizen and your visa category was converted to F1, your wait for your priority date to become current for processing became longer.
However, there is a relief for you. Under Section 6 of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), you can request the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reclassify you back to the F2B category. You may contact the USCIS office in Manila to inform them that you wish to “opt out” of the automatic conversion to F1 and remain in the F2B category.
Unfortunately, the application of this opt-out provision is not automatic. USCIS would have to approve your request so you may be reclassified back to your F2B category. If your visa petition is still with the National Visa Center (NVC), you will have to provide a copy of the approval to NVC to update your records.