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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

Q I heard that the department of labor introduced a better and faster way of filing for labor certifications. Is that true? How long will the new process take? Should my employer wait before I file my labor certification?

A Currently the Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) is quickest way for most petitioners to file labor certifications. However, even this expedited process can take up to two years in California. Recently, department of labor (DOL) enacted a new labor certification program called PERM, which will eliminate the need to initially file applications at the local employment office.
Under this system all the applications will be submitted directly to the DOL for final adjudication. The DOL promises a turn-around time of 21 days. However, the implementation of this new program is being targeted for the first quarter of 2003. The new system is anticipated to accommodate conversions from the regular/RIR labor certification process to the new PERM. Thus, it is in your best interest to have your employer begin the labor certification process on your behalf as early as possible.

Q I am 24 year’s old in the U.S. on a student (F1) visa. My mother’s sister filed a petition for my mother (my father, my brother and myself being the beneficiaries) in February 1988 when I was 10 years old. My parents finally received their U.S. permanent residency status in April 2001 when I was 23 years old. Do you think the new Child Status Protection Act will be helpful to me?

On Aug. 6, 2002 the new Child Status Protection Act (CSPT) amended the Immigration and Nationality Act by changing how a foreign national is determined to be a child for purposes of immigrant classification. The CSPT was enacted to prevent a child from “aging-out” due to INS processing delays.
The INS will now use the date of filing of Form I-130, petition for alien relative, to determine the age of a beneficiary adjusting as a child of a U.S. citizen. However, in all preference category cases, including your case, the beneficiary’s age will be locked in on the date that the priority date of the Form I-130 becomes current, less the number of days that the petition is pending, provided the beneficiary seeks to acquire LPR status within one year of such availability. Unfortunately, the CSPT will not help you.

Q My parents and siblings are American citizens. I could not be naturalized along with my parents. My brother and sister were born in the U.S. so they had no problems. I was born in India, held a green card briefly (six years) after which it expired. I’m married to an Indian and have a baby girl. I’d like to know whether I have a chance to apply for an American citizenship on the basis that I was a minor when both my parents were naturalized?

A At this time there are no provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act that would allow you to do that, unless your parents included you in their Naturalization application process at the time of filing their Form N-400 with the INS.

Law Offices of James E. Root, Orange County Office: 10971 Garden Grove Blvd. #G, Garden Grove, CA 92843. Los Angeles Office: 5757 Wilshire Blvd., #520, Los Angeles, CA 90036. (800) 474-9960.

Send your questions for our panel of law experts Advice given is of a general nature, and is not intended as a substitute for a personal consultation. We cannot respond individually to each letter received.