If a foreign-born person being sponsored by a U.S. citizen is en route to obtaining a green card, or lawful permanent residency, in the United States, they may face a long wait. This is due to factors such as annual limits on visas and standard lengthy waiting periods due to an overload of applications flooding in.
The exact length of time one must wait during the visa application process depends on the category the immigrant is placed in, therefore functioning as a “supply and demand” type of system. There is no exact date provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), although one can track the progress of those who applied before on a month-to-month basis.
Seeking lawful permanent residency in the United States involves an overwhelming number of steps to follow and a variety of forms to fill out. An applicant may seek to expedite the Oak Brook family visa application tracking process by consulting with a skilled family immigration attorney who can provide legal insight and aggressive representation in cases where an application is denied.
The Role of Immigrant Preference Categories in Oak Brook
The success of obtaining a green card through family first depends on the relationship between the applicant and the U.S. citizen. However, another crucial factor that determines the length of the process, as stated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), involves being placed in family “preference immigrant” categories such as:
- (FB1) First Preference: unmarried sons and/or daughters, 21 or older of U.S. citizens
- (FB2A) Second Preference: spouses and unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens
- (FB3) Third Preference: married sons and/or daughters of U.S. citizens
- (FB4) Fourth Preference: brothers and/or sisters of U.S. citizens (the U.S. citizen must be age 21 or older)
The order of priority may singlehandedly determine the waiting time one must endure to receive a response from the USCIS.
Other eligible categories of green cards through U.S. residents include:
- Preference relative of a U.S. citizen
- Immediate relative of a U.S. citizen
- Accompanying relative of an individual in the “preference” category
Each year, the United States government allocates a designated number of immigrant visas in each of the preferred categories. The government follows its fiscal year, which starts and ends in the month of October. A common issue with this system is that it may affect the relative seeking residency due to a lack of visas for one’s category. If you need more help understanding how preference categories relate to family visa applications, our skilled attorneys in Oak Brook are here to help.
Tracking Family Visa Status Through “Visa Bulletin”
Every month, the State Department releases a source of information on visa waiting periods known as The Visa Bulletin. By accessing the latest bulletin, a person can determine when visa applications are available and when the visa may be given out.
Every prospective immigrant has a priority date attached on file, which is the date that the USCIS received Form I-130. Note that priority dates of immigrants that are earlier than the marked cutoff date in the month’s chart expedite the visa application process. Simply put, the earlier the priority date, the better the chances of receiving a notice at a quicker pace.
Learning About Family Visa Application Tracking from a Oak Brook Attorney
Keeping families together has been a priority in U.S. immigration laws. However, the length of time it takes to perform such act can be months, and possibly years if the circumstances demand it.
By consulting with a practiced attorney who can interpret how to go about the Oak Brook family visa application tracking process with accuracy and swiftness, the likelihood of being reunited with a loved one may be much faster than expected. Call today to learn more.