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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28816
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I am totally confused about the I-824

Customer Question

I am totally confused about the I-824 procedure/requirements. I applied for I-485 & I-30 for myself and my daughter. However, I later realized that I was misguided by the consultants as my daughter had turned 18, two months before I got married. Upon the advice of another attorney, I then filed for I-824 for follow to join. I have since then been granted the green card. However, USCIS (I met them today at field office) officer has informed me that no action will be taken on my I-824 and it will be denied as my daughter was already 18 when I got married. I am now totally and utterly confused and do not know how to resolve this. Your help will be highly appreciated.
Thanking you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

You need to file your own I-130 for your daughter under the Family Based category of FB2A, child under the age of 21 of a permanent resident.

The current backlog is approximately 18 months for a visa number to become available. It is different than being based on a citizen parent or spouse.

You do have some serious issues because if your daughter has accrued more than 6 months of unlawful presence here - 6 months after her I-94 period of stay expired and she is more than 18.6 years old she will have a bar of 3 years when she departs to do her visa processing in home country and if she has more than 1 year she faces a 10 year bar. She is not eligible to adjust status in the US because she is out of status.

Your "consultant" has really done you great harm. Consultants are not allowed to practice law and can go to jail for doing so because they do this exact damage and then are not liable to you in any way.

Lawyers can loose their license for being negligent so they take care in giving advice.

You need to hire a good lawyer before you do one thing further. Your daughter's entire future is at risk.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. Kindly give me a positive rating when you are done. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please note that my daughter is in the US on a valid I-120 visa (before I got married to my US Citizen husband). Please also note that I sent I-824 whilst my AOS application was still being processed. My daughter was interviewed for I-485 and denied at the time of interview the IOS said that I-485 will be denied and when a decision is made for my I-485 (which is already done and I now have the Green Card) then action will be taken on I-824 for "Follow to Join" for my daughter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is also my understanding that I-824 can be filed for children under 21 of a permanent resident? Therefore, I believe that everything is in order and is applicable in our case?
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

OH, I am so glad to hear that!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An I-824 cannot be filed when you adjusted as a CR-1. You have to now file a petition for her. USCIS did not misinform you.

Keep her in valid F1 status, file the I-130 and when her priority date is current she will be able to file a new I-485.

I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or 3+ stars
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
FOR JUDITH"Thank for your prompt reply.
However, I am still not clear, based on the following information, I am more confused then ever(this information is available on the internet for immigration advice and help:
"Follow to Join is only valid if the principal applicant has established permanent residency in the United States through employment, family-preference, the Green Card lottery or through a K or V visa.
Follow to Join does not require a separate immigrant petition and does not require the applicant to wait for a visa to become available.
You don't need to file Form I-130 to take advantage of the Follow to Join process.
The principal applicant must not be a U.S. citizen. That's a different process. If the principal applicant has become a naturalized citizen, then he or she can file a separate visa petition to bring family members here.
The Follow to Join process is only available to children who are under the age of 21 and unmarried. Children over the age of 21 or married children can immigrate to the United States if a parent becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen. There are provisions in U.S. immigration law for allowing stepchildren and adopted children to participate in Follow to Join"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, I did not adjust status on CR1 visa, I was already in the US as a visitor, got married and changed my status (I-130 & I-485).
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Unless you were married for 2 years at the time of adjustment you adjusted as a CR1.

If you were married for 2 years you adjusted as a IR1.

Follow to join is only available to those who adjusted under FB1-FB-4. Not to a CR1 or IR1.

I am confused. You don't believe the USCIS who has told you the same thing I am telling you.

Perhaps you need to do things your way and find out we are right and you are wrong.

This section is for beneficiaries who became permanent residents through a preference classification.

If you had children who did not obtain permanent residence at the same time you did, they may be eligible for follow-to-join benefits. This means that you do not have to submit a separate Form I-130 for your children. In addition, your children will not have to wait any extra time for a visa number to become available. In this case, you may simply notify a U.S. consulate that you are a permanent resident so that your children can apply for an immigrant visa.

Your children may be eligible for following-to-join benefits if:

  • The relationship existed at the time you became a permanent resident and still exists, AND
  • You received an immigrant visa or adjusted status in a preference category.

Look at table 2 - that explains to you what are preference categories:

This website also explains separate petitions are not required when you immigrate under preference category F1-4.


You are digging your daughter a hole trying to make things fit into what you want them to be instead of accepting what the USCIS has told you is the law which is exactly what I am telling you. I wish you all the best.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for taking time to obtain information.
I do appreciate your advise in this matter, however, I believe that there is either unclear laws or misinterpretation of the law. Even the IOS who interviewed my daughter in October 2015 for her I-485 said her AOS will be denied and action on I-184 will be taken once my application is approved - she did not say that my I-184 is not acceptable/admissable etc etc. So please understand why I am so confused.
The following extract is straight from USCIS I-184 instructions: I do not fall under any of the categories listed and nowhere it states that CR1 etc visa applicants cannot file I-184.1. You were issued an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate via consular processing and were admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) on an immigrant visa;
2. You were granted refugee status after you were admitted to the United States;
3. You were granted status in the United States as an asylee; or
4. You have gained your LPR status through a T or U visa.
Do not le Form I-824 with USCIS, if you are requesting:
1. Further action on an application or petition that was denied, revoked, terminated or withdrawn;
2. A correction of an error on your previously approved application or petition;
3. A copy of the approved Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, or Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, for your personal records
4. A duplicate approval notice of an approved immigrant visa petition naming the spouse or children who are accompanying or following to join you;
5. USCIS to send information to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) regarding the approval of your expired nonimmigrant application or petition;
6. USCIS to send information to DOS regarding an employment-based application or petition if your employment for the original petitioner has ended;
Form I-824 Instructions 1