Most of us have heard the adage “Home is where the heart is”, but it should probably read “Home is where family is”. No matter what we go through or where we reside in the world, we are likely to feel the most at home when we are with our families. They make us feel safe, they love us unconditionally, and they remind us of our roots.
Cynthia R. Lopez and her legal team understand that it is important for families to stay together. Here are a few important pieces of information for those seeking an immigration visa in the United States based on a family relationship.
Family Based Immigration Law
In certain scenarios, a foreign national may be able to receive an immigrant visa in the United States through their familial relationship with a U.S. citizen who someone who has status as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). The Immigration and Nationality Act divides the immigration visas for family members of United States residents into two categories: Immediate Relative Visas and Family Preference Visas.
Immediate Relative Visas
The United States does not set any limits on the amount of Immediate Relative Visas it will offer per year, but this type of visa is reserved for very specific circumstances. The U.S. grants Immediate Relative Visas to the parents, spouses, adopted orphans, or natural children (under the age of 21) of any U.S. citizen who is over the age of 21.
Family Preference Visas
The United States offers a limited number of Family Preference Visas each year. Because there are typically more applicants than available visas, the waiting list can be somewhat long. These visas may be issued to:
- Minor children, unmarried older children, and spouses of Legal Permanent Residents
- Siblings of United States citizens
- Unmarried children of U.S. citizens
- Extended family of U.S. citizens (grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc.)
The First Step
The first step in immigrating to the United States as a relative of a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. Citizen is filing From I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Because family visas are issued in chronological order, based on preference category, it is beneficial for prospective immigrants to file the form as quickly as possible. Applicants will want to make sure the form is filed correctly, however – little mistakes can cause delays. Working with an attorney at an immigration law firm can help prevent costly mistakes.
An Immigration Law Firm in El Paso, TX
Cynthia R. Lopez Law Firm is an experienced and successful immigration law firm in El Paso, and we care about keeping families together. If you are considering applying for an Immediate Relative Visa or a Family Preference Visa, consider contacting our legal expert today.