Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens in Wheaton are eligible for permanent immigrant visas which enable them to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. Unlike other visa categories, the number of Wheaton immediate relative visas issued is not subject to annual quotas.
For many reasons, it is in your best interest to demonstrate that you qualify for an immediate relative visa. However, it could be challenging to prove eligibility and to satisfy all the requirements of the federal agencies involved. Many people find it helpful to work with a Wheaton immigration attorney when applying for an immediate relative visa. Reach out to an attorney today to see how one could help you.
Family Members Who Qualify for Immediate Relative Visas
To be eligible for an immediate relative (IR) visa, an applicant must have a particular relationship with a U.S. citizen. Immediate family members of lawful permanent residents may also qualify for a visa, but under the family preference category which is subject to quotas.
Family members who qualify for Wheaton immediate relative visas include:
- Parents of U.S. citizens (the citizen must be at least 21 years old)
- Husbands and wives of U.S. citizens (including same-sex spouses)
- Unmarried children of U.S. citizens (children must be under age 21 to qualify)
- Orphans about to be adopted in the U.S. by U.S. citizens
- Orphans adopted abroad by U.S. citizens
Family members such as married children of citizens and brothers and sisters of citizens may qualify for family preference visas, but not immediate relative visas.
The fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen does not qualify for an immediate relative visa but may obtain a temporary fiancé(e) visa to allow entry to the U.S. for the wedding. When the status changes from fiancé(e) to spouse, then it is possible to apply for an immediate relative visa.
Applying for an Immediate Relative Visa
The process of applying for a Wheaton immediate relative visa begins with the U.S. citizen who provides the basis for visa eligibility. That citizen must file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. In some cases, it may be possible for a citizen living abroad to file this petition either at a USCIS office overseas or by mail.
The petitioner also usually serves as the sponsor who pledges to provide financial and other support to the potential immigrant. If a lawful permanent resident files a petition under a family preference category and then the petitioner becomes a citizen, the petition could be upgraded to immediate relative status, but it is important for applicants of Wheaton immediate relative visas to follow correct procedures for notifying the agencies involved.
After USCIS approves the petition, the agency sends it to the State Department National Visa Center which assigns a case number and begins pre-processing the application including fees. The NVC then requests documents including the application, Affidavit of Support, identification, and other documents. After documentation is approved, the applicant is scheduled for an interview. The visa applicant is then instructed to complete a physical exam and receive the necessary immunizations.
Assistance with Wheaton Immediate Relative Visas
An immediate relative visa could prove invaluable in reuniting families and enabling relatives to take advantage of many opportunities. Because the application process is complex, however, it is important to pay attention to details. Missed deadlines or failure to comply with requests for evidence (RFE) could cause an application to be delayed or denied. If the government determines that there is any fraud involved, the applicant may be permanently prevented from obtaining a visa.
A permanent resident or immigrant visa enables an immediate relative to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely and potentially become a citizen. For assistance applying for a Wheaton immediate relative visa or resolving a delay or problem with a visa, it is a good idea to contact an experienced immigration attorney.