Q. I have a couple of questions about my daughter who came to the United States on November 2009 with a Visa B1/B2 and never returned to her country. She now needs to return to her country. Can I in the future fill the Form I-130 for her? Will she have the appointment for a Green Card? Will she need to fill out the Form I-601? My daughter is 12 years old. Thank you for your time.

November 18, 2011 | Family Petition, Immigrant Visas, Naturalization

A . If you are a U.S. citizen you may want to consider filing an application for permanent residence now. She can get travel permission as part of the application process.  Of course, if the USCIS approves her green card application before she leaves, she can return as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or ‘”green card holder,” giving her the right to live here indefinitely.   It will also make travel in and out of the United States much easier, assuming that the United States remains her principal country of residence.

If you are an LPR yourself, then it can take up to two years for your daughter to get permanent residence based on your petition.  She does not need to be in the United States during this time. Because she is under 18, the three and ten year bars to permanent residence (which can be triggered by someone who overstayed a visa or entered without one and lived here unlawfully when they leave the United States) do not apply to her. Since the bars do not apply, a waiver for “unlawful presence” (Form I-601) would not be required.