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Many individuals immigrate to the United States each year thanks to their familial ties to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. However, the law does not treat all family members the same. While immediate family members receive special treatment during the immigration process, there are other family members that do not. Those people must rely on family preference visas to achieve their immigration goals.

Family preference visas can take longer to receive compared to permits for immediate family members, but these visas are one of the most effective ways to secure lawful status in the United States. A dedicated family immigration attorney could help you understand how to secure family preference visas in Lombard.

Who Qualifies for a Family Preference Visa?

Certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents have the right to apply for a visa. However, because of the limited number of visas available, only so many of these applications are granted each year. Additionally, not all applicants are treated equally in the family preference visa process. There are four preference categories, with the applicants that fall into category 1 having higher priority than those in category 4.

First Preference (F1)

The highest preference level, known as F1, gets the first opportunity each year to secure a family preference permit. This category is limited to the children of United States Citizens. However, to qualify, a foreign national must be unmarried and under 21.

Second Preference (F2)

The second-highest preference level is offered to specific relatives of lawful permanent residents, such as spouses and children. Unmarried children over the age of 21 are included in this category, but they have lower preference compared to children 21 years and younger.

Third Preference (F3)

This category is intended exclusively for married children of U.S. citizens. These married children can be of any age.

Fourth Preference (F4)

Finally, the fourth category is made up of siblings of U.S. citizens. This option is only available if the U.S. citizen in question is 21 years old or older.

During a consultation, a skilled attorney in Lombard could help a potential immigrant determine his or her priority category and apply for a family preference visa.

Understanding the Process

It is important to remember that there is a firm limit on the number of family preference visas granted in the United States every year. Additionally, since there are far more applicants than permits granted each year, a foreign national might need to wait years before receiving their permit.

Simply being a relative of a citizen or resident is not enough to guarantee a family preference visa, however. There are steps every applicant is required to take, including providing the necessary documentation that establishes the relationship. Any mistakes made during the application process can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of these cases. In addition to filing a petition and providing documentation, applicants must also go through an interview process.

This process only applies to those immigrants who do not qualify as immediate family members of U.S. citizens. Given the additional challenges that more remote family members must take, it is important to seek the guidance of a hardworking lawyer in Lombard when applying for a family preference visa.

Let an Attorney Help with Family Preference Visas in Lombard

The process of obtaining family preference visas in Lombard can be complicated. In addition to waiting for years, a mistake during the application process could put your chances of success in jeopardy. Reach out to an attorney right away for legal guidance. You should not have to strive to reach your immigration goals alone, and our legal team is here to represent you throughout your case process.

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