An immediate relative could apply for permanent resident status through a family-based petition. Most of the time, a U.S. citizen spouse, U.S. citizen parent, or his or her U.S. citizen child files a family-based immigrant petition on his or her behalf. For assistance with applying for immediate relative visas in Lombard, reach out to a dedicated attorney. A skilled immigration lawyer could help you and your relative throughout the process.
Who Qualifies as an Immediate Relative?
An immediate relative is a parent, spouse, or an unmarried child under 21 of a U.S. citizen. Due to the fact that these parties are immediate relatives, they do not need to wait in line before a visa is available. Once an immediate relative submits his or her application, it is immediately processed. He or she will then wait for the application to be approved.
Every Lombard case involving immediate relative visas is a fact-by-fact scenario. For instance, if an immediate family relative comes legally to the United States, he or she may be able to apply for an adjustment of status that allows him or her to apply for an immigrant visa and become a legal permanent resident. The immediate family member can also decide whether he or she wants to extend the current visa he or she used to enter the country.
Does the Location of a Relative Matter?
There are different steps to take for securing an Oak Brook immediate relative visa based on where that person lives. The important distinction is whether they currently reside in the United States or live abroad.
Relatives in the U.S.
When an immediate relative is already lawfully residing in the U.S., the process for becoming a permanent resident is known as adjustment of status. This process allows an immediate relative to adjust his or her status from a temporary form of residency, such as an education visa, to a permanent one.
To begin this process, an immediate relative must file Form I-130, also known as a Petition for Alien Relative. The citizen sponsoring their immediate relative files this document. At the same time, a relative files something known as Form I-485. The relative must be physically present in the United States when they file their application to go through the adjustment of status process. Additionally, they must be present in the country lawfully. Any previous bars to immigration like prior deportations or criminal convictions could result in a denial of the application.
Relatives Outside of the U.S.
The process is not the same when an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen does not live in the U.S. Instead of adjusting his or her status, these individuals must go through something known as consular processing. Applying this way does have some similarities, like the use of Form I-130. However, since the foreign national is outside of the U.S., he or she must complete the entire process before entering the country. In addition to paperwork, there is also an interview component. This interview occurs at the consulate or embassy in the country the family member is currently residing.
Common Roadblocks with Immediate Relative Visas
If the person applies for an immediate relative visa without the help of an experienced attorney, he or she could have errors in his or her application that could impact how long the case takes to process. Sometimes the words used on the applications do not have the same meaning as in plain English. Certain words are terms of art that have a special meaning in a specific context. For example, when someone has a criminal record for a misdemeanor offense, he or she may not state in the application that he or she does not have an aggravated felony. However, under immigration law, an aggravated felony could also include misdemeanor offenses.
When Should a Family Member File for Permanent Relative Status?
Ideally, if the family member is still in status, he or she should file an application prior to the legal status expiring. The family member is best served by going to a Lombard attorney who has experience and knowledge about immediate relative visas. It is important to know that the immigration processing changes depending on the filing center handling the case. In reality, some cases move faster or slower than the published times. In every case, it is a good idea to have a lawyer who has experience handling multiple cases.
How a Lombard Attorney Could Help with Immediate Relative Visas
The most important thing someone can do to ensure that his or her family member’s visa is not denied is to have a lawyer who is well-qualified and has previously handled immigration cases. The attorney will be up-to-date on immigration law and could help you with immediate relative visas in Lombard. Contact our office today and set up a consultation to learn more about how a lawyer could assist you and your family.