Does the US citizen petitioner have to go overseas to attend the embassy interview?
Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. Today's video comes from a question I received from Mr. T, and I was very excited to see that I got an email from Mr. T. When I was growing up, I had a Mr. T lunchbox. For those of you who don't know, Mr. T is a African-American bodybuilder, actor, who had a Mohawk, and when I was a kid, I thought that was the coolest thing ever. So I had a Mr. T lunchbox, I watched every episode of the A-Team, where he played Vietnam vet, B.A. Baracus. Then, of course, he was famously given the role of Clubber Lang in Rocky III, and his famous line was always, "I pity the fool."
But unfortunately that was not this Mr. T. I got an email from a different Mr. T, and let me read it to you and then we get to the question. "Hi, my name is Anthony, and I'm a subscriber to your YouTube channel. I am a permanent resident and my wife is a US citizen. My wife wants to file an I-130, which is a Petition for Alien Relative, for my two daughters, who are less than 10 years old, in Nigeria. This is my question. Will she be required at any point in time of the entire process to travel down to Nigeria, to go with the kids to the US embassy in Nigeria when the time comes for interview of the kids at the embassy? Or, can just any adult take the kids to the embassy for interview without either me or my US citizen wife present physically with the kids at the embassy in Nigeria? Thanks. Mr. T."
All right, Mr. T, we've actually come across this situation before a few times, and it does often involve a situation just like yours, where there's a US citizen who marries a foreign national, and the foreign national is in the United States, and the time comes for the interview at the embassy for the kids. In one situation, I remember, famously, that my US citizen client had to go to Thailand to attend the interview because the beneficiary, his wife, who was here trying to get her green card, she'd been denied and we were worried that she would have trouble getting back into the United States, even with advanced parole. So my client, who is a huge American white dude, he had to go to Thailand and meet with the girls who he'd seen and talked to many times on Skype and video conferencing, he had to go to the interview.
It's going to work a whole lot better, Mr. T, if your spouse, and or you, go to the interview. Having a random stranger bring the children would be a bad idea. If you can avoid that, I would. Now, generally, I don't usually like it when the US citizen goes overseas, and on marriage cases, we generally recommend against it, if it can be avoided. But on a situation like this, where you have kids under the age of 10, they're not going to be able to advocate for themselves. They're not going to be able to pull out documents and give the officer what they want. I suspect that your case is going to go much more smoothly if the US citizen and their father, that would be Mr. T, if the two of you go overseas and attend that interview. That's my best advice on that.
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