Family-based immigrant visas are reserved for certain close relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. These visas allow the qualifying family member to come live and work permanently in the United States. Visas like these can be obtained through a family member petitioning on your behalf. Call us today at (720) 802-2705 to learn more about your legal options and ways we can help.
Who Qualifies for a Family-Based Immigrant Visa?
To be eligible for a family-based immigrant visa, you must be related to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in one of the following ways:
- Unmarried children under the age of 21
- Parents (if the sponsor is 21 years of age or older)
- Brothers and sisters (if the sponsor is 21 years of age or older)
The first step in petitioning for a family-based immigrant visa is for your relative to file what’s called an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once USCIS approves the petition, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing.
How Long Does a Family-Based Immigrant Visa Take?
The amount of time it will take to process your family-based immigrant visa depends on a few factors, such as:
- Your relationship with the sponsoring relative
- The country where you currently live
- Whether you are immigrating through the immediate relative or family preference category
According to immigration law, you are classified as an “immediate relative” if you are either the spouse, a minor under 21 years old, or the parent of a US citizen. There is no limit on the number of visas that can be issued each year in this category, so processing times can be shorter. For all other family preference categories, there is an annual numerical quota limiting the number of visas that can be issued. This means that processing times can vary based on the demand for visas in a particular category.
Once your petition has been approved and forwarded to the NVC, they will contact you and your sponsor to begin the visa application process. The NVC will provide instructions on how to submit the necessary paperwork, as well as the fees that must be paid. Once all required documentation has been received, and the fees have been paid, your case will be scheduled for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
The interview is typically the last step in the process, and you will be notified of the decision on your case shortly thereafter.
Why Should I Hire a Family-Based Immigration Lawyer?
The family-based immigration process can be complex and time-consuming. Hiring an experienced immigration lawyer can help ensure that your case is handled correctly and efficiently. We have a wealth of experience assisting clients with all types of family-based immigrant visa petitions. We will work tirelessly to help you and your family navigate the visa process and achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at (720) 802-2705 to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable immigration attorneys.