Living in the United States is a dream for millions of people around the world. Unfortunately for some, they must live this dream with only their immediate family members. People legally in the United States on a work visa or as a green card holder may find that they have difficulty bringing their family into the United States.
For these people, it may be possible to apply for a family preference visa. These visas allow non-immediate family members to get in line for the right to legally live in the United States. People must fit into one of five preference categories in order to apply for these visas.
A Bolingbrook immigration lawyer could help people living in the United States to bring their relatives into the country under a family preference visa. Attorneys could help determine if a family member fits under any of the criteria and to gather the necessary information to start the visa application process.
The Classes of Family-Based Preference Visas
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows for U.S. citizens and green card holders to sponsor non-citizen relatives for family preference visas. However, not all applications are treated equally. The USCIS creates five categories of applicants in decreasing order of preference. These categories are:
- The unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. These are people 21 years of age or older.
- Spouses of green card holders or unmarried children of permanent residents
- Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
- Married sons and daughter of any age whose parent is a U.S. citizen
- Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens
These people cannot apply for a family preference visa themselves. The U.S. citizen or green card holder must initiate the process with the USCIS. A Bolingbrook family preference visa lawyer could provide more information about the classes of applicants for the limited number of family preference visas.
Form I-130 and the Application Process
All petitions to bring relatives under the family preference program begin with filing Form I-130. The form requires the sponsoring U.S citizen or green card holder to provide accurate information concerning the sponsor’s personal identifying information, the relationship between the two people, and the same data concerning the family member.
Once the USCIS receives and approves this application, they send it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC forwards the application to the U.S. consulate in the family member’s home country. The consulate then schedules an appointment to conduct an interview to determine the family member’s eligibility for this program. If this is successful, the family member enters the line to wait based on his or her preference level. Working with a Bolingbrook family preference visa lawyer could help the entire process to move as smoothly as possible.
A Bolingbrook Family Preference Visas Attorney Could Help to Reunite Families
It is never an easy thing for families to remain separated across international borders. While immediate family members such as a U.S. citizen’s spouse or children could apply for an express visa without waiting in line, other relatives such as adult children or siblings must submit to the U.S. family preference visa program.
As a result, many people may find that they wait months or years to gain legal entry to the United States. A Bolingbrook family preference visa attorney could help to ensure that a potential immigrant gains the highest possible preference level. They could also work to collect all the necessary information to meet the USCIS standards for visa applications. Contact a Bolingbrook family preference visas attorney today to let them get to work reuniting your family.