If you want to sponsor a family member’s legal immigration into the United States, there are two broad categories of visas you can pursue on their behalf. Immigrants can seek family preference visas, which are available in limited numbers to both U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. Another option an immediate relative visa, which are unlimited and available for U.S. citizens to sponsor certain family members for expedited immigration.
As with any visa, there are strict application requirements for Aurora immediate relative visas, as well as numerous restrictions on who can receive them and what rights they allow recipients. A qualified immigration attorney could offer clarification about how these visas work and guide you through the process of applying for one or sponsoring an applicant.
Categories of Immediate Relative Visas
There are five types of immediate relative visas available under current U.S. immigration law, each of which applies to a different family member that a citizen in Aurora may sponsor. These categories are numbered IR1 through IR5 and allow for the legal immigration of, in order of preference:
- The sponsoring citizen’s spouse
- The sponsoring citizen’s children, provided they are unmarried and under 21 years of age
- An orphan adopted by the sponsoring citizen from a foreign country
- An orphan whom the sponsoring citizen intend to adopt from a foreign country
- The sponsoring citizen’s parent, provided the sponsoring child is at least 21 years of age
Family members who do not fit into any of these categories—such as unmarried children over 21 years of age, siblings, and married children of any age—may still be able to pursue a family preference visa rather than an immediate family visa. However, only a certain number of family preference visas are granted by the United States each year and there is generally a sizable backlog in applications.
Sponsoring a Family Member’s Immigration to the United States
To start the process of sponsoring an immediate relative for immigration to the United States, a U.S. citizen must first file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). This form must include personal information and supporting documentation to establish the familial relationship between the sponsoring citizen in Aurora and the individual seeking an immediate family visa.
Legal Permanent Residency
If the prospective sponsor’s petition is approved, their immediate relative can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to pursue legal permanent residency (LPR) if they are already in the United States. If they are still abroad, they would have to apply for an immigrant visa at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are immune from numerous restrictions related to a lawful status that would stall other immigration petitions. For instance, a person can seek an immediate relative visa even if they are already employed without authorization in the U.S. or previously failed to maintain lawful status since entering the country for the first time. Local legal counsel could offer additional guidance about what limitations may or may not apply to a particular case.
An Attorney Can Make the Aurora Immediate Relative Visas Process Painless
With few exceptions, being sponsored by an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen is the easiest way to legally immigrate to the United States. However, just because this visa application process is somewhat easier than others does not mean it is always straightforward or that seeking help from a legal professional bad idea.
If you want to ensure your Aurora immediate family visa application process goes as smoothly as possible, retaining a qualified immigration attorney could be essential. To find out what a legal representative could do for you and your family, call today to schedule a consultation.