The immigration system and immigration law practice can be quite complex. Immigrants who wish to obtain citizenship often begin by getting a green card. While the naturalization interview and examination is still a distant dream, they usually begin by applying to become lawful permanent residents. In any of these steps, it is important to get immigration advice.
Someone knowledgeable about the immigration service can explain to you the eligibility criteria, required paperwork, and processing times. Immigration attorneys help with visa applications, green card applications, and US citizenship processing.
Immigrant visas are expected of a foreign citizen seeking to reside permanently in the US. A foreign national looking into lawful permanent residency must be sponsored by a US citizen or, in some cases, a lawful permanent resident. Fiances of US nationals or permanent residents may also be eligible to immigrate. Family immigration and family-based visa applications are broad. These two are not the only types of visas you can explore, although these are some of the most common.
The USCIS needs proof that you, the petitioner, is a family member of the individual you are petitioning. You must also prove that you are a naturalized citizen or a green-card holder, and you can help the individual you are seeking to sponsor financially. An immigration attorney could explain the process to you in more detail. Generally, an individual with United States citizenship may petition for:
- A husband or wife
- Unmarried sons or daughters below 21 years of age
- Unmarried sons or daughters over 21 years of age
- Married sons or daughters
- Parents, if the sponsor is over 21 years of age
- Sisters or brothers, if the sponsor is over 21 years of age
In the above list, United States immigration gives maximum priority to those with spousal relations (husband or wife) and unmarried children. The remaining categories are deemed as lower priorities following the immigration process.
Family immigration laws require evidence showing the above relationships. Immigration services tend to be strict. You have to sufficiently prove your relationship with the foreign nationals that you are filing an immigration petition for. An immigration lawyer can help you prepare the necessary legal documents and avoid messy immigration issues.
On the other hand, a K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by US immigration to an alien fiance. With a fiance visa, he or she may travel to the US for 90 days, during which the marriage must take place. Otherwise, the fiance must go back to his or her home country.
In some circumstances, a legal permanent resident can also opt for a V visa, which allows the spouse or the minor children of the said permanent resident to immigrate to the United States while waiting for the processing of their visas. This allows families to be together while their adjustment of status is being processed.
Family-based immigration covers a lot of areas. The said visas are not the only kinds of family-member or marriage-based visas you can apply for when immigrating. Some could opt for a visitor visa, student visa, investor visa, work visa, or another employment-based visa, but note that there are certain limitations to these, especially if you are considering eventual permanent residence.
For questions on immigration laws, immigration visas, or even the green card process, give us a call at Diener Law. Contact our immigration law firm to get some of the best lawyers experienced with immigration policy.