Applying for a family visa in Bolingbrook is exciting but, at times, also worrisome. Failure to fulfill all requirements properly can cause an application to be rejected. If you make a mistake and an agency believes you were attempting to gain a visa by fraudulent means, you may be permanently barred from seeking a visa in the future.
To avoid problems, many applicants choose to work with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer during the Bolingbrook family visa application process. This process involves many stages, so guidance from a legal professional who understands the potential pitfalls can provide reassurance and help you reach your goals while avoiding unnecessary delays.
The Status of the Relative in the U.S.
Family-based immigration centers on the prospective immigrant’s connection to an individual with legal status in the United States. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and individuals granted asylum or refugee status within the last two years are all eligible to sponsor spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 for a family visa.
Green card holders, also commonly referred to in Bolingbrook as LPRs, may also sponsor their unmarried older children for a family visa. U.S. citizens are eligible to seek a family visa for many more relatives, including:
- Children adopted or about to be adopted abroad
- Married children and their families
- Brothers and sisters and their families
U.S. citizens may also petition for a fiancé(e) living outside the U.S. for a temporary visa until the wedding takes place and the fiancé becomes eligible for a family visa as a spouse.
What Does The Petition Process Entail?
The process for seeking a family visa in Bolingbrook usually starts by filing a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). U.S. citizens and LPRs file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Refugees and asylees file Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.
Petitioning relatives must provide proof of their immigration status and evidence of the relationship with the prospective immigrant. Documentation could include birth certificates, marriage certificates or other documents as described in the petition instructions. If a family member is serving in the U.S. Armed forces, special conditions may apply.
Available Family Visas
After USCIS approves a petition, then the prospective immigrant may need to wait for a family visa to become available. Immigrant visas are issued in limited quantities each year, and the government additionally limits the number of visas granted to individuals coming from countries with high rates of immigration. Because of these limits, there are often many applicants for a small number of available family visas each year.
Visas applications are granted on the basis of a priority system, so some relatives may become eligible for a family visa sooner than others. Spouses, parents, and unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens receive the highest priority, while the lowest preference goes to siblings of U.S. citizens.
Final Steps in the Bolingbrook Family Visa Application Process
After a visa becomes available, a prospective immigrant in Bolingbrook may apply to adjust his or her status to lawful permanent resident. If the relative seeking a family visa is located outside the U.S, the petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center, and the visa application will be processed through a U.S. consulate.
In many cases, the Bolingbrook family visa application process will include an interview at a USCIS office or U.S. consulate. Applicants should bring original versions of all the documents that were submitted as part of the request to adjust status or the visa application. The agencies involved may request additional documentation before issuing a decision. If problems arise or delays occur, a family visa application attorney could assist with investigating and resolving the difficulty.