Immigrant Wants to Come But Has Drug Issue

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Can I bring my kid here if he’s convicted of a drug offense? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.

Got an interesting question off of the Immigrant Home Facebook group that we have. That’s our closed immigration Facebook group, where we talk about the immigration issues of the day. People can ask questions. Sometimes we hop in there and answer those questions.

And Linda wants to know, she is a green card holder and she has an over 21-year-old son who got arrested in Europe two years ago for having a little marijuana, a little bit of ecstasy. And she’s wondering if her son is going to be able to come to the United States. Now, one thing that Linda might not have been aware of is that because her son is 22-years-old, over the age of 21, there is a backlog on the ability to bring her child to the United States as the son of a lawful permanent resident. So putting aside the drug charges, just there’s a wait. Whenever there’s a backlog, there’s a wait. Whenever there’s a cap, that means that if there are people in that category ahead of you, then you’re going to wait and wait.

So her son is probably, depending on their country of origin, 6 to 10 years from coming to the United States as the son of a lawful permanent resident. So Linda can file for her son and that drug charge will come up later, not at USCIS, but at the embassy. So let’s play this out. Let’s say that today Linda hired us and we filed a I-130 petition for her son. And that case would be pending for a couple of years. They’re not in a rush to adjudicate those because of the backlog. As long as he’s unmarried, the wait is going to be about seven years, six, seven years, undercurrent processing times. And once the number becomes current and the visa has been approved, the I-130 has been approved, then they can proceed with processing at the National Visa Center.