Sorry about the delay. I had stepped out for lunch. Yes, it's about a 12 or 13 year wait. They are on I-130s filed on or before September 8, 2002. That means if you filed now, it would be about a 13 year wait. Here is a link where you can look at the F4 preference category:
This is a waiting line. There is nothing in the law that allows anyone to jump ahead of anyone else in line not even in the case of an emergency. So unfortunately, during that 13 year wait, he cannot file an I-485 and he cannot remain in the U.S. waiting for that time period to pass. He has to have some other status or wait outside patiently. That's the big issue that no long likes. I will go over the different ways that he can immigrate or that he can at least get a visa to be in the U.S. in some legal status but keep in mind that for the B-2 or ESTA he has to have non-immigrant intent and if he has an I-130 filed for him, that is proof of immigrant intent. So once you file the I-130, that is evidence of immigrant intent and he will find it hard to visit on a B-2 or ESTA.
There are generally 5 avenues to obtain U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency. They are through family, through employment, through Asylum or refugee process, through investment, or through the lottery.
For family, it must be immediate family such as U.S. Citizen spouse or U.S. Citizen children over 21 in order to be able to come immediately. U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parents or U.S. Citizen siblings, or Lawful Permanent Resident spouses can also help, but the wait for that is about 4 to 12 years or so.
Through employment, he would have to generally prove that he would not be taking away a job from a U.S. worker and the less experience and education he has, the harder that is to do.
Through Asylum or Refugee process, he must prove that he would be persecuted, tortured or killed if he stayed in his country and that this will happen to him because of his nationality, race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, not because he would run the same risk as anyone else in his country to fall victim to a crime or bad economic conditions.
Through investment, he is looking at generally $1,000,000.00 for a residency, or $500,000.00 in an area designated as a high-employment area, plus in both cases the investment has to create 10 or more jobs for U.S. workers.
And through the lottery, it would be very difficult to win one of the 50,000 visas available per year and some countries do not qualify.
Here is a link to the different forms to get a green card:
Then there are some visas available where he can stay temporarily and then later change to Lawful Permanent Residency if he qualifies.
Some of the visas available through employment (if he has a job offer and he qualifies) are:
H-1B for professional workers
H-2A for seasonal agricultural workers
H-2B for seasonal nonagricultural workers
H-3 for industrial trainees
Then there are the F-1 and M-1 for students and J-1 for exchange visitors.
And then there is the E-1 for treaty traders and E-2 for treaty investors (these types of visas are not available in all countries).
Here is a link to most of the available visas:
The best for him would be either an H-1B or L-1 if he qualifies because those allow for both immigrant and non-immigrant intent. Here are links to both:
Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you positively (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. And don't forget that bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you.