Key Steps in Applying for Family or Marriage-Based Green Cards

Are You Looking to Apply for a Family Based Green Card?

For one to migrate to the U.S., they need to get a green card. That is the first thing to consider before any other item. Though there have been recent changes in the immigration application processes in certain areas, applying for a family or marriage-based green card remains the same.

The U.S. government provides opportunities to make applications for people who are married to U.S. citizens or people who have a permanent resident. There are procedures you'll need to follow before acquiring a green card. The application policies differ depending on the circumstances.

There are four steps offered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for family or marriage green card. Though four steps are suitable for various green card family or marriage circumstances, you must remain truthful during the application process and provide clear information.

You'll also need to note that neither is your application automatic nor guaranteed. USCIS requires that the information provided be concrete to allow you to pass the requirements. You may need to start the entire process with the help of a Los Angeles family immigration lawyer for a smooth flow. Below are the four steps involved in the application.

Step One: Visa Petition by U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

Both the U.S. sponsor and the foreign immigrant have roles to play in the application process. But the first process is undertaken by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Through a permanent residency attorney Los Angeles, the U.S. sponsor advises the Immigration Service about their intention to bring an immigrant who is a family member. The person needs to prove that the foreign family member is a relation.

The U.S. citizen or permanent resident mails a visa petition to the USCIS by filing a FORM 1-130. The form should be accompanied by documents like proof of the sponsor's resident status or citizenship, marriage certificate, and birth certificate. 

If you do not have adequate knowledge about how you can fill the form and the entire process, you may need to hire a green card attorney Los Angeles to take you through the process. There is also an application fee that needs to be accompanied with the application documents. In the unusual cases of a child, a deceased spouse, unmarried, or abused spouse, the sponsor will need to file a petition with Form 1-360.

If the foreigner already has a legal status in the U.S., they will be classified as an immediate relative. The people include a child less than 21 years, an unmarried child, a spouse, or a parent. In this case, the foreign national doesn't have to wait for USCIS to give approval to Form 1-130.

The process can also get smooth and better when U.S. citizens or permanent residents get legal immigration help in Los Angeles. With legal advice, you can get professional services, and you can have the confidence of your application's success. 

Step Two: Decision from USCIS on the Visa Petition

The petition's time can be unpredictable, making the application wait for months or even years, hoping that USCIS approves it. So once it gets approved, the case can proceed forward. In case the petition gets rejected, the U.S sponsor needs to figure out what could have been the issue.

You can seek further legal help from a Los Angeles family immigration lawyer who'll help out in the process by applying their legal knowledge to mitigate the situation. The lawyer will help you in the process of filing a new petition. Seeking legal help is crucial because if the petitioner gets rejected, they'll need to file a new petition. With the help of a green card attorney Los Angeles lawyer, it gets smoother and flawless.

However, if you'll be lucky enough and get a successful petition, the case file will be forwarded to the National Visa Center from the USCIS. Once the NVC receives the paperwork, it'll send them to the petitioner. The petitioner will need to provide proof of financial capability to support the immigrant. 

The paperwork is usually in the Form 1-864 issued by USCIS. It'll then be forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the home country of the immigrant. In case of a preference relative, the process gets longer and can go for years before approval. However, you can hire an attorney for immigrant families Los Angeles to help you in the process that would possibly take less time than it would have without legal help.

Step Three: The Waiting Period

The waiting period can be long since there are limitations on the law on the number of approvals. The preference relatives that this rule applies to are: spouses and children to the U.S. citizen or the permanent resident. The waiting can be lengthy, which can cause anxiety and days, months, and years of the sleepless night for the U.S. sponsor and the immigrant foreigner.

The reason for the long wait is as a result of the immigrant's home country waitlist. The applications are filed on Priority Date from the time the USCIS receives Form 1-130. However, instead of waiting for the entire period, you may need to hire a permanent residency attorney Los Angeles for professional legal services and help in the whole process. The knowledgeable lawyer will help ensure that the green card comes out within the required time.

Step Four: Visa Card Application by the Immigrant

The final step involves the application of the immigrant. It comes once the visa petition has been approved with the help of legal immigration help Los Angeles. The foreign national apply from their home country and sends the documents to the respective consulate.

Once the consulate receives the application, they communicate directly with the NVC and send documents to be filled out. They'll advise on consular process procedures regarding where the immigrant will carry out medical examination and further details about the in-person interview. There is an adjustment of a process called adjustment of status, which occurs at the USCIS office in the U.S. It's only applicable for few people living in the United States.

Once Form 1-130 gets successful, the foreign national needs to mail the adjustment status document to the USCIS for the next process. The immigrant will be required to go for a personal interview. When successful, they'll use an immigrant visa to get to the U.S. Upon arriving in the U.S, an attorney for immigrant families Los Angeles will guide them through applying for a permanent residence status. The foreign national will get their green card after a few weeks. For more information, contact our immigration lawyer in Los Angeles today!

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