There are several visa categories for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members for their own Green Cards. The categories include visa options for immediate relatives, eligible family members, spouses, and fiancé(e)s. Each category has specific eligibility requirements the applicant should meet. The first step is to determine the most appropriate visa category for your case.
In U.S. immigration law, family reunification typically refers to the process of obtaining a family-based visa. This is essential for the american immigration policy, as it helps promote family unity and a path for legal immigration status, strengthening communities and the economy.
We understand the process of helping a family member gain legal immigration status in the United States can be challenging. However, with careful planning and experienced assistance from our legal team, you can help your family member achieve their immigration goals.
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There are several family-based visas available for eligible relatives of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to immigrate to the United States.
The main rule to keep in mind is that U.S. citizens can file immigrant visa petitions for their spouse, sons or daughters, parents, brothers and sisters. However, permanent residents are limited to petition for their spouse and unmarried sons or daughters.
The available family-based visas include:
The processing time for a family-based visa to the USA can vary depending on the specific visa category and the circumstances of the applicant.
In general, petitions for immediate relatives can be approved or denied within within a 6 to 12 month period after filing. However, this is not a set rule, it can take longer.
Family preference petitions on the other hand, can take 7 years or longer.
Some of the factors that can affect the processing time include:
The processing times for family-based visas can range from several months to several years. This is why it is so important to make sure all paperwork is carefully completed and supported by the requested documentation.
Determine the appropriate visa category based on the relationship between the U.S. citizen or permanent resident and the person being petitioned.
Gather all supporting documents, which may include birth or marriage certificates or proofs of a relationship between the applicants, an affidavit of support, financial support, and other documents depending on the nature of the visa application.
Submit the forms and pay the application fees. Make sure to include all requested information and supporting documents to avoid unnecessary delays and mistakes.
Attend your visa interview. During this appointment a consular officer will interview you to determine your eligibility for a family visa. You should prepare before the interview to make sure you are able to provide clear answers pertinent to your case and application.
Note: You are not required to have an immigration lawyer to apply for a family visa in the United States. However, the process can be overwhelming and we advise you to seek the help of an experienced immigration law professional from the start.
Humanitarian parole is a special relief for foreign nationals to enter the country during emergency situations. As of February 2023, there is a special process in place for Ukranians, Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to enter the United States through the petition of an eligible supporter.
The petitioning individual must be a U.S. citizen, national, lawful permanent resident, or temporary status holder that can demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support the beneficiary.
“Family Preference” is the family-based immigration option available for those that do not qualify as immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen.
The family preference category depends on the following specific family relationships:
Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen can obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States through a family-based visa petition. To qualify as an immediate relative you must be the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the unmarried son or daughter under 21 years old of a U.S. citizen, or the parent of a U.S. citizen (the U.S. citizen must be over 21 years of age).
Popularly known as the K-1 visa, the fiancé(e) visa allows a foreign national to enter the U.S. to marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of entry.