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Regardless of the type of visa an immigrant is seeking, there are countless hurdles in the application process that could make things more challenging. However, if you are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you might have an easier time securing the visa you need and immigrating to the U.S.

For example, immediate relatives can apply for a special visa that helps them enter the U.S. faster than most foreign nationals. This family relationship might open doors for you, but there is no guarantee your application will be accepted. Thankfully, an experienced family immigration attorney could assist you with immediate relative visas in Lombard.

Defining Immediate Relatives

For the purposes of immigration law, an immediate relative refers to a spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. Citizen. A child of a citizen must be unmarried and below the age of 21 to fit into this category. Children that do not meet these requirements must apply for a visa on their own.

Immediate relatives receive special treatment compared to other types of visa applicants. They have the ability to apply for a visa right away instead of waiting. Other applicants that are not immediate relatives have to go through a lottery process and wait for their desired permit.

However, while immediate relatives have preference over other types of applicants, an approval on an application is not guaranteed. Instead, the federal government takes every case on a fact-by-fact basis, evaluating each application to ensure that an immediate relative meets all the qualifications for a visa.

If a foreign national is unsure whether they can apply for an immediate relative visa, they should discuss their unique situation with a knowledgeable lawyer in Lombard.

How to Apply for an Immediate Relative Visa

The first step in applying for an immediate relative visa is using the appropriate form. Known as a Petition for Alien Relative, this document is filed by the citizen that is sponsoring a family member to immigrate to the United States. With the help of an attorney, the citizen must file this form with USCIS by mail or at a local office.

Once the application is initially approved, the case is handed off to the State Department National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC collects any application fees and begins to process the application. During this phase, the NVC might request additional documents, like forms of identification. Once this department approves all of the necessary documentation, the applicant is scheduled for the final step—an interview. Following the interview and a physical exam, an applicant that receives final approval will be issued an immediate relative visa and allowed entry to the United States.

Issues in the Application Process

Not all applications for immediate family visas will go smoothly. This is especially true for those applicants who attempt this process without the guidance of an attorney. Many applications are derailed by avoidable errors in the application process, such as forgetting to include important documents or information.

An applicant’s criminal record could also be an issue. While not every arrest will bar an applicant from securing an immediate relative visa, a mistake on the application could make a person’s criminal history appear worse than it actually is.

To counter this risk, a knowledgeable lawyer in Lombard could review every aspect of an immediate relative visa application before it is filed. This careful review could turn up any issues that could have prevented USCIS from approving the application moving forward.

Talk to an Attorney about Immediate Relative Visas in Lombard

There is a lot at stake with every immediate relative visa. If you intend to sponsor a close family member for a permit, it is in your best interest to seek out legal counsel. An experienced attorney could answer your questions and advise you on the right way to proceed. Call right away to get Started on your application process.

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