When a foreign national applies for a family-based visa with the intent of securing lawful permanent residency in the U.S., the duration and details of the process can vary depending on several important factors. The relationship between the applicant and their U.S. sponsor and both of their legal statuses will largely determine the trajectory of the case.
If you have questions about Bolingbrook family visa application tracking, an attorney with experience in family-based immigration could help you manage your case.
Tracking Immediate Family vs. Family Preference Visas
The process of tracking a Bolingbrook family visa application involves numerous stages. One of the primary factors that determine how the application process will run is whether the foreign national is applying as an immediate family member or as a family preference relative of their U.S. sponsor.
A U.S. citizen’s husband, wife, parent, or child (under the age of 21) would be classified as an immediate family member. The government issues an unlimited number of these visas per annum.
Family-based preference visas may be issued to relatives of U.S. citizens who do not fall into the above-named categories. While the spouse or child of a citizen may be classified as an immediate relative, the husband, wife, or child of a green card holder is categorized as a family preference applicant.
Unlike immediate family-based visas, the government has a limit on how many visas it issues every year to applicants in the various family preference categories. This means that the application tracking process for a family preference visa will typically look different and take much longer than it would for an immediate relative of U.S. citizen.
Methods of Processing Family Visa Applications
The family visa application process begins when the relative sponsoring the applicant submits a Petition for Alien Relative on their behalf, also known as Form I-130. After a period of months (or longer), if the petition is approved and the foreign national is an immediate relative applicant who lives outside the U.S., their case will begin to go through consular processing.
Consular processing involves several stages. The applicant must first submit to a medical exam and attend an in-person interview at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If an immigrant visa is issued, the individual can proceed to relocate to the U.S., where they will be issued their permanent residency card by mail.
Adjustment of Status
Another option for tracking a Bolingbrook family visa application exists for certain immediate family members of U.S. citizens. If the applicant already resides legally in the U.S. and is the immediate relative of a citizen, they may qualify for a process known as adjustment of status.
This means the individual could pursue green card status from within the U.S., rather than waiting out the process from their country of origin. They could also apply for lawful permanent residency simultaneously with their sponsor submitting the Petition for Alien Relative.
In the case of an individual categorized as a family preference relative, they may have to wait a number of years before their petition is approved and a visa number in their applicant category is made available. Consular processing is the most common method for family preference applicants and typically takes less time than cases involving adjustment of status.
Contact a Bolingbrook Attorney with your Family Visa Application Tracking Questions
The timeline for Bolingbrook family visa application tracking can take anywhere from months to years. In addition to your classification as an immediate relative or family preference applicant, many other factors can impact your case’s length and process. A mistake on your visa application or missing piece of documentation could require you to start the process all over again.
This is why you should consult with a seasoned immigration attorney who could manage all aspects of your family visa application. They could also help you if you are currently residing in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant and are facing deportation by avoiding removal if you have a relative who is a citizen or green card holder sponsor you for a family visa. Contact a member of our legal team today to discuss your immigration choices and family visa options.