One key goal of U.S. immigration law is to keep families together. However, because there are so many applicants for the limited number of permanent visas available each year, the process of family immigration in Naperville could be complicated and lengthy. Moreover, mistakes could cause further delays or even result in a denial.
Fortunately, a Naperville family immigration lawyer may be able to help you avoid costly mistakes. Advice from an experienced immigration attorney could help ensure that you meet deadlines and requirements and that you are taking the right steps to reach your goals.
Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
Immediate family members of U.S. citizens generally have the easiest time obtaining permanent immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the U.S. However, the government narrowly defines those classified as “immediate relatives”.
Family members eligible for visa types IR-1 through IR-5 are not subject to annual quota limitations, so they generally have a much shorter wait to obtain a visa than family members in other visa categories. Immediate relative visas are available to the following relatives of U.S. citizens:
- Spouses (IR-1)
- Unmarried children under age 21 (IR-2)
- Orphans adopted from another country by U.S. citizens (IR-3)
- Orphans about to be adopted abroad by U.S. citizens (IR-4)
- Parents (if the citizen is age 21 or older) (IR-5)
The provision for spouses includes same-sex spouses.
Immediate Relatives of Lawful Permanent Residents
Certain family members of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the U.S. and some relatives of citizens other than those described above may be eligible for a Family Preference Visa. All Family Preference visas are issued in limited quantities each year and ranked according to preference category.
Those holding a green card as LPRs may petition to enable certain immediate relatives to obtain an immigrant visa and become LPRs themselves. However, visas in this category are ranked as Family Second Preference Visas (F2). The only relatives eligible for an F2 visa are spouses and unmarried children of LPRs. In addition, the majority of visas in this category are reserved for spouses and minor children, with older children receiving the remainder. Because of the competitive nature of these visas, it could benefit applicants to consult a family immigration lawyer in Naperville to review how to better the odds of receiving a visa.
Other Family Members Who May Obtain a Family Preference Visa
Besides those classified as immediate relatives, other family members of citizens eligible to seek a visa include adult children of citizens and any minor children they have. Unmarried children over age 21 are classified as F1 and married children over age 21 are classified in the lower preference F3 category, but their spouses are also eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. Finally, Family Fourth Preference (F4) is for brothers and sister of U.S. citizens over age 21.
If the family relationship of a visa applicant changes so that the applicant may be considered an immediate relative or a relative in a higher preference category, it is wise to notify the appropriate agencies as soon as possible. For instance, if an LPR sponsors a spouse for immigration and the LPR obtains citizenship while the immigration petition of the spouse is still pending, the spouse becomes eligible for an IR-1 visa rather than an F-2 visa, which could make a significant difference in timing and possibly also increase the likelihood of approval. To better plan for such contingencies, speaking with a family immigration attorney in Naperville could help.
Consult a Knowledgeable Family Immigration Attorney in Naperville for Assistance
Whether you are just investigating the possibilities or are in the midst of the family visa application procedure, there are numerous ways an experienced Naperville family immigration lawyer may be able to help. An attorney could review an application or Request for Evidence to determine whether the necessary information is included and properly documented. A knowledgeable legal adviser could describe your options and help you choose the right strategy to reach your objectives.
Additionally, an attorney could investigate the cause of delays or help you prepare for a visa interview. To learn how a family visa lawyer could assist with your unique needs, call now for a consultation.