A U.S. citizen can petition for family members residing abroad to live in the U.S. and receive a green card. The entire process starts when a U.S. citizen files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the immigrating relation.
Obtaining a family-based green card is dependent on the relationship between the immigrant family member and petitioner who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in the U.S. and requires the beneficiary to satisfy either the family preference or immediate relative categories.
However, the pathway to family-based immigration may be an arduous and confusing one that entails a series of filing forms. To assist with the family-based consular processing procedure, it is advisable to contact a knowledgeable family immigration attorney who can not only provide legal consultation but also fight to make the process smoother for all parties involved.
The first step in consular processing revolves around one’s eligibility to apply for a green card. Most immigrant family members become eligible through a petition filed on the behalf of a family member or employer. Others may obtain their permanent residency by way of asylum or refugee status or through several other provisions set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There are essentially two ways to apply for lawful permanent resident status and they can be done in the United States or in the applicant’s home country. The first route involves the immigrant applying at a U.S. Department of State consulate to obtain an immigrant visa, while the latter applies to those already in the United States.
As stated before, USCIS requires the U.S citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for the family member seeking residency. Filing this form is only the first step in the immigration process. Eligible family members may still need to wait for a visa number before they can become lawful permanent residents.
Normally, the U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident files the immigration petition for immigrant relatives as they understand what categories will best fit their situation. Although many U.S. residents file immigration petitions domestically, there are exceptions where filing a Form I-130 petition can be performed within a designated USCIS field office, U.S. embassy, or consulate in a foreign country. Some situations may include:
Upon filing, the USCIS will then make a formal decision and notify the petitioner. If the petition is denied, the notice will include the reasons for the denial and whether the decision can be appealed. If an appeal is readily available, consulting with an Oak Brook expert in the field of immigration and citizenship could expedite family-based consular processing and boost the chances of a positive case outcome.
Each year, USCIS rejects or denies thousands of I-130 petitions. The Oak Brook family-based consular processing procedure can be tricky and lengthy, and the entire ordeal can take much longer than families might want to wait.
The advice and knowledge that an Oak Brook family-based consular processing lawyer can bring to the table may be pivotal to the success of one’s case. Contact us to set up a consultation.