Family visas cause a lot of confusion in Oak Brook. The U.S. government has established several family visa categories with different preferences and quotas assigned to each type. It can be difficult to determine which visa category is applicable in a particular situation or to know what to do when your eligibility for a category changes. As a result, a person may benefit from obtaining legal counsel. Learning about the Oak Brook family visa categories could be extremely helpful during the immigration process. Call and schedule an appointment with a dedicated visa lawyer to learn about your potential legal solutions.
An Overview of United States Visas
The U.S. government issues temporary visas for short-term stays and permanent visas, also known as immigrant visas, for long-term stays. An immigrant visa allows the holder to remain the country permanently and obtain lawful employment.
Because the identification cards issued to immigrant visa holders used to be printed on green paper, they are still referred to as green cards. So, “having a green card” means that someone has attained the status of lawful permanent resident, or “LPR.”
The government issues only a limited number of immigrant visas each year, so many applicants experience lengthy wait times in order to obtain a visa even when they meet the qualifications. It is important for applicants to comply with requirements and provide adequate documentation to demonstrate that they meet eligibility requirements to avoid delays or rejections.
Different Types of Family-Based Immigrant Visas
Most immigrant visas are granted either on the basis of employment or family connection. The U.S. government recognizes five categories of family-based permanent visas in Oak Brook, ranked in order of preference. The first category—immediate relative immigrant visas—are not subject to a quota, so an unlimited number of visas in this category may be granted each year. Other categories, known as family preference visas, are limited in number.
Immediate relative immigrant visas may be granted to:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Minor children of U.S. citizens who are unmarried and under age 21
- Orphaned children adopted by U.S. citizens
- Orphaned children who are scheduled to be adopted by U.S. citizens
- Parents of U.S. citizens so long as the citizen is at least 21 years old
Because these visas are not subject to quotas, this category is generally considered the most desirable. When applicants apply initially in another category but their status or the status of their sponsor changes to make them eligible for the immediate relative category, they should take steps to make the changes known. Someone seeking more information about Oak Brook family visa categories should contact an attorney who is well-practiced in such immigration matters.
Family Preference Visa Categories
Those who do not qualify for immediate relative (IR) visas may qualify for a family preference (F) visa. The first preference category of this type of visa ranked “F1,” is for the unmarried children of U.S. citizens and any minor children those unmarried children may have.
The “F2” preference category is for those with close connections to a family member with LPR status. Spouses and minor children of LPRs are granted the majority of the visas in this category, with the remainder going to older children of LPRs.
Married children of U.S. citizens, along with their spouses and minor children, qualify for the third family preference, “F3.” Finally, the fourth family preference category, “F4,” is for siblings of adult U.S. citizens, plus their spouses and minor children. A qualified immigration attorney could help an individual in Oak Brook determine which family visa category he or she falls into and identify what actions should accordingly be taken next.
Getting More Information About Family Visa Categories in Oak Brook
The procedures and requirements for family-based visas are subject to change at any time. For the most up-to-date information about Oak Brook family visa categories, it may be helpful to contact the U.S. Department of State or a knowledgeable immigration lawyer.
Additional information may also be available by contacting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The USCIS field office nearest to Oak Brook is located at 101 West Congress Parkway in Chicago.