Every year, the United States grants visas to millions and millions of people. Nearly two-thirds of these immigrants are related in some way or another to a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident. At Immigration Lawyers, we understand what it is like to be away from those you love for a predetermined period of time, which is why it is our duty to help guide you through all the procedures necessary to be near your family once again.
This process is used to reunite families of foreign-born immigrants and their family members in the United States although it involves a variety of steps. Some of these steps may be handled by the sponsor or by the beneficiary themselves.
When a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident chooses to petition a foreign-born family member, they must let the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services office know that they are willing to sponsor the relative as well as having to prove that such familial relationship does indeed exist. The petitioner must fill out the USCIS Form I-130 and provide supporting documents that prove that they are indeed a United States citizen or someone with permanent residency.
An appropriate filing fee must also be paid in order to commence this process. Once the USCIS endorses the petition and receives the fee, the case may carry on. In cases where the beneficiary is an immediate relative to a U.S citizen such as a child or spouse, they may be eligible to live lawfully in the United States while waiting for the USCIS approval.
The USCIS form I-130 is an essential document used to prove and demonstrate that a true familial relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary actually exists. This form can be filed by the sponsor themselves or by the beneficiary, however, there are certain restrictions upon who a petitioner can file for. For example, a U.S citizen can petition anyone in their immediate family but lawful permanent residents may not file for certain family members such as married children, parents or siblings. A U.S petitioner must be at least of the age of 18 but must be over the age of 21 when filing for a sibling or parent. Uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, or in-law relatives do not fall under immediate family and are therefore not eligible to be petitioned by a U.S citizen or lawful resident.
To where it is applicable, U.S citizens and their prompt families have numerous advantages rather than preference relatives of legal permanent residents. Immediate family relatives don’t have visa restrictions while preference relatives do have them. For instance, the partner or spouse of U.S citizen or unmarried children less than 21 years of age is viewed as a member of a family. Preference relatives, on the other hand, are then categorized in 4 different ways and are indeed subject to visa impediments.
As opposed to immediate relatives, however, preference relatives are not qualified for a green card immediately. The thinking behind this being that the law has set yearly cutoff points on the number of visas that can be disbursed and approved and the supply seldom meets the high demand. This implies that preference relatives need to wait an obscure amount of time before being granted a visa into the states.
While the holdups are typically measured in years, the immigrant’s place on the waiting list is secured by what is called a Priority Date which is the day when the USCIS receives the I-130 petition and is used as the cutoff date to determine visa availability.
At the point at which the visa appeal has been approved and becomes granted or available to the foreign-born relative, they must also file for permanent residency. This is generally done by ordering an immigrant visa at a U.S consulate outside of U.S grounds, typically in the immigrant’s homeland. The national visa center and the consulate will then get in contact directly with the beneficiary informing him/her on the following steps that need to be taken before an in-person interview is held.
In addition to this method, there is an alternate-less common-application method called an adjustment of status which occurs within the United States. This method is used by immigrants who are already residing in the U.S, despite the fact that only an allotted number will be granted a change in their immigration status.
Immigration Lawyers Miami is a carefully chosen group of immigration attorneys with a common commitment to better serve our community and to support the growth and development of our diverse population. Immigration law can be a very delicate and hard thing to understand, which can make reuniting with your family members a harder and longer task than necessary. Allow us to help guide you through this confusing and time-consuming process in order to assist you as efficiently as possible.