FAQ Family-Based Immigration

FREQUENTLY ASKED KNOWLEDGE BASED QUESTIONS


What types of visas are available if I want to come to the U.S. for a visit or a temporary stay?

If you wish to visit the United States temporarily or be granted entry for a very specific period of time, you will need a non-immigrant visa. Some of the most common types of non-immigrant visas are a student visa (should you be looking to further your education and skills), business investor visas (if you are planning on coming to the U.S. to invest in a business), or a travel visa (if you wish to do some traveling in the U.S.)

What type of visa should I get if I want to become a permanent U.S. resident?

Depending on your current immigration status or situation, there are a number of visas available to foreign nationals wishing to permanently immigrate to the United States. There is a fiancé(e) visa (if you are a foreign national engaged to a U.S. citizen), family visas (if you have or are the relative of a U.S. citizen and wish to immigrate to the U.S.), a work visa (if you have unique skills or requirements which make you a hot commodity in a particular field or industry), and more.

What type of visa should I get if I want to become a permanent U.S. resident?

How long will my Green Card remain valid?

Permanent residency, obtained through a Green Card, allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States on a potentially indefinite basis. When a Green Card is first issued, it is often a temporary Green Card and is valid for two years. After the first two years, providing you have not been convicted of any criminal activity and have maintained your eligibility status, you can apply for a permanent residence visa which is valid for 10 years.

What type of visa should I get if I want to become a permanent U.S. resident?

Once I obtain a Green Card, what do I need in order to obtain citizenship through naturalization?

Once an individual has been granted a Green Card, and if they wish to obtain U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, there are certain requirements that must be met. You must have been physically present in the U.S., as a Green Card holder, for at least 50 percent of the time. You must not be away from the U.S. for any more than one year, and ideally less than six months prior to your citizenship application. You must not have committed a serious crime of moral turpitude. You must be able to write and speak English, and more. Consult with one of our attorneys in order to get a complete list of the qualifications and requirements

What type of visa should I get if I want to become a permanent U.S. resident?

My visa has expired. What can I do?

If your visa has expired, the first thing you need to do is contact an immigration attorney from our firm. We can sit down with you, review your current status and situation, and then help you determine the best course of action to pursue. Time is of the essence when it comes to expired visas, so we advise you do not delay.

What type of visa should I get if I want to become a permanent U.S. resident?

I am in the United States on a temporary visit and wish to obtain a permanent visa. What can I do?

Changing immigration status while in the United States can be difficult, and there is no guarantee it can be done. If it is possible, and what you will be required to do, vary from person to person. That is why this kind of question can only be answered after consulting an experienced immigration attorney. Our attorneys can take the time to review your status and case, analyze the situation at hand, and help you map out the course of action best geared to accomplish your immigration objectives.

What type of visa should I get if I want to become a permanent U.S. resident?

I have received a deportation order. Is there anything I can do to avoid being deported?

If you receive a deportation order or notification, the first thing you must do is contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney at our firm—one who can work with you closely to build your deportation defense. You need an attorney who understands and is skilled in all aspects of immigration law. Our attorneys are committed to providing you with the honest, aggressive representation you need.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Family-Based Immigrant Visa Approved?

This depends on the category in which you are applying. In the Immediate Relative (IR) category, there is an unlimited number of visas available. This means that processing can begin immediately upon approval of the initial petition. From start to finish, IR visas typically take from six to nine months or longer, depending on the circumstances. In the Family Preference category, there are annual numerical limits, and applicants may have to wait several years for a visa to become available.

Who Is Eligible To Sponser a Family-Based Visa Petition?

Sponsors must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are at least 21 years of age. Sponsors must also have a domicile in the United States or a U.S. territory. If a sponsor lives abroad, they must show proof that their residence abroad is temporary, and their permanent domicile is in the U.S.

Sponsors must prove their family relationship with the applicant/beneficiary and meet certain financial requirements as well.

IF I AM A U.S. CITIZEN, WHAT RELATIVES CAN I SPONSOR TO BECOME PERMANENT RESIDENTS?

U.S. citizens may petition for the following relatives to obtain green cards through the Immediate Relative (unlimited visa) category:

Spouses
Unmarried Children under Age 2;
Parents if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age
U.S. citizens may petition for the following relatives to obtain green cards through the
Family Preference (limited visa) category:

Who Is Eligible To Sponser a Family-Based Visa Petition?

Sponsors must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are at least 21 years of age. Sponsors must also have a domicile in the United States or a U.S. territory. If a sponsor lives abroad, they must show proof that their residence abroad is temporary, and their permanent domicile is in the U.S. Sponsors must prove their family relationship with the applicant/beneficiary and meet certain financial requirements as well.

If i am a U.S. Citizen What Relatives Can I Sponser to Become Permanent Resident?

U.S. citizens may petition for the following relatives to obtain green cards through the Immediate Relative (unlimited visa) category:

Who Is Eligible To Sponsor A Family-Based Visa Petition?

Sponsors must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are at least 21 years of age. Sponsors must also have a domicile in the United States or a U.S. territory. If a sponsor lives abroad, they must show proof that their residence abroad is temporary, and their permanent domicile is in the U.S. Sponsors must prove their family relationship with the applicant/beneficiary and meet certain financial requirements as well.

If I Am A U.S. Citizen, What Relatives Can I Sponsor To Become Permanent Residents?

U.S. citizens may petition for the following relatives to obtain green cards through the Immediate Relative (unlimited visa) category:

Spouses
Unmarried Children under Age 2;
Parents if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age
Orphans adopted abroad or who will be adopted inside the U.S
U.S. citizens may petition for the following relatives to obtain green cards through the Family Preference (limited visa) category:.

Unmarried children along with their minor children (F1)
Married children along with their spouses and minor children (F3)>

Siblings along with their spouses and minor children if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age (F4)

If I Am A Lawful Permanent Resident (Lpr), What Relatives May I Sponsor To Become Permanent Residents?

LPRs may petition the following relatives for green cards through the Family Preference (limited visa) category:

Spouses and Unmarried Children (F3)

I Am A U.S. Citizen. Can I Bring My Aunt, Uncle, And Cousins Here As Permanent Residents?

No. There is no family-based visa category for aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents.

I Am Marrying A Foreign National Who Lives In Another Country. Is It Better To Bring Her Here To Get Married On A Fiancé Visa Or Have The Wedding Abroad And Petition Her On A Spouse Visa?

K visas provide two potential paths for U.S. citizens who are getting married to a foreign national. The K1 visa is for fiancés or fiancées, and the K3 visa is for spouses. You may also file petitions for their minor children (K2 and K4 visas). The fiancé and spouse visa processes are similar and take about the same amount of time. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the right option is dependent on your specific circumstances. Contact our office to learn more about which type of K visa is right for you.

I Married A U.S. Citizen While In The United States On A Temporary Visa. What Do I Need To Do Next To Obtain A Green Card?

If you were here lawfully on a temporary (non-immigrant) visa and married a U.S. citizen, you may apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident and receive a conditional green card.

I Received A Notice To Appear (Nta) For A Removal Hearing. How Do I Fight It?

Non-U.S. citizens may be subject to deportation/removal proceedings if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes they are in violation of immigration or certain criminal laws. Receiving a notice does not make you guilty, however. There are various deportation defenses that could be used successfully, depending on the situation. The first step is to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to fully assess your case and go over your options.

I Was Denied A Visa. Is It Possible To Get A Visa Waiver?

Immigrants who were denied a visa may be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. Waivers may be granted for certain health conditions, prior deportations/removals, minor crimes, and if you can demonstrate that refusing a waiver would cause an extreme hardship. Waivers are also available for those who qualify under a specific law or executive action, such as the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act, Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

What Is The Difference Between Citizenship And Naturalization?

There are two general types of U.S. citizens: citizens by birth and naturalized citizens. Those who were born in the United States or born to U.S. citizens abroad receive automatic citizenship. All others obtain citizenship through what is known as the naturalization process. In general, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can apply for naturalization if they have maintained continuous residence in the U.S. for three or five years, depending on the circumstances



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