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If you have immigrated to the United States and have a family, your family members may immigrate to the US with you. Entering the United States will be especially easy for immediate family members. Immediate relatives of migrants have preference according to the Migration and Nationality Law.
However, there are criteria you must meet to qualify. You are almost guaranteed a visa if you fall into one of the following categories:
The spouse of a United States citizen.
An unmarried child of a parent who is a United States citizen and under the age of 21.
An orphan adopted by a United States citizen.
An orphan to be adopted by a United States citizen.
A parent of a United States citizen
While not a guarantee, immigrant visas are also available if you fall into one of these categories:
Unmarried children or sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents;
Unmarried or married sons and daughters of United States citizens, along with their spouses and minor children; just like him.
Siblings of United States citizens and their respective immediate families
If you fall into one of these categories, hiring an experienced immigration attorney can increase your chances of entering the country. However, it is important to note that not everyone can be sponsored for immigration purposes. Here are some examples of relatives who cannot sponsor a family member:
How do you get a family-based immigrant visa?
A petition must be filed to obtain a family-based immigrant visa. The person filing the petition must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), and generally reside in the U.S. However, there are exceptions to the U.S. residency requirement. However, there are circumstances in which you can obtain a family-based immigrant visa if your sponsor is a US citizen residing in another country.
What if your sponsor used to be a lawful permanent resident but is now a US citizen?
If your petitioner was a lawful permanent resident, but has become a US citizen, your immigrant visa category will change. If you are facing such a transition, you should be aware of how this change will impact your immigration process. An experienced immigration attorney is an integral part of navigating this journey.
What fees are involved in the immigrant visa process?
There are fees that you will need to pay to obtain a visa. The following organizations charge fees during the process:
Filing of immigrant petitions for foreign relatives.
Processing fees for the application.
Medical exams and vaccinations required.
As well as costs associated with translation services, fees for necessary documents, and possible travel expenses if the beneficiary must go abroad for an interview.
What documentation is required?
You will need to submit the following documents to apply for a visa:
Statement of support.
Photographs (you must bring two photographs of at least 2”x2”).
Results of a medical examination.
Is there an interview?
Applicants for an immigration visa are always interviewed. Always make sure you have all the documentation required for the interview. An immigration attorney can prepare you for the interview.
How long does the application process take?
The family preference visa application process generally takes longer than other visa applications, but the specific time period varies for each applicant. An immigration attorney can guide you through every step of the process.
What can disqualify you from a family preference visa?
Several things can disqualify you from a family preference visa:
A drug conviction
Having overstayed a prior visa or entering the United States unlawfully and accumulating unlawful presence
The presentation of false documents, among many other reasons.
Also, it is important to meet all the requirements for the port of entry where you will be entering the US.