Immediate Relative Petitions

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Permanent residence (Green Card) for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

Suppose you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. In that case, you can become a lawful permanent resident of the United States based on your family relationship if you meet specific eligibility requirements.

Who is the immediate relative, and why are Immediate Relative Visa categories so desirable?

Immediate relatives are the closest family members. Immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and unmarried children (under 21) of a U.S. citizen. Visas are always available to immediate relatives. Visas are always available to immediate relatives. That's because there are unlimited immigrant visas available to immediate relatives. Therefore, the immigrants in these categories do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate.

How to apply for a green card as an immediate relative?

Once the I-130 petition is approved by USCIS and a visa number is available, the foreign family member may apply for a green card. There are two primary paths to apply for a green card: Consular processing and Adjustment of statusUnder Consular processing, you apply for a green card through the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country outside the United States. Consular processing is the preferable way of obtaining a green card. In some cases, where an applicant is already inside the United States in a nonimmigrant status, they may be able to adjust their status to permanent resident. Adjustment of status is changing immigration status to permanent residence.

Immediate Relative Visa Categories for a Green Card

  • IR-1: spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • IR-2: unmarried child under twenty-one years of age of a U.S. citizen
  • IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5: Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old

How does a "family preference" visa category differ from an immediate relative category?

As explained above, the Immediate Relative category is where U.S. Citizens sponsor their unmarried children under 21, parents, or spouse. There is no limitation to the number of Immediate Relative immigrant visas that can be issued in a year, so there is no waiting period for a visa to become available. However, A green card application still requires processing through USCIS, National Visa Center (if application processing is going under consular processing). The good part about an immediate relative visa category is that there is no lengthy wait for the visa to become available. In comparison, family preference categories are the other categories for distant family relationships like a Brother or sister, married children of U.S. citizens, children above 21, and spouses of Permanent residents. A limited number of immigrant visas are authorized in the preference categories, and there is substantial waiting periods before visas are available. Every month, visa availability is listed on the U.S. State Department's Visa Bulletin.

The family Preference Visa Categories are :

(F1)- Family First Preference Visa Category: Unmarried Daughters and Sons of U.S. Citizens, and their children (minor), if any. (23,400)

(F2)- Family Second Preference Visa Category: Children (Minor), Unmarried Daughters & Sons (age twenty and over), and Spouses of LPRs. The big amount of all visas available (approx. seventy-seven percent) for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder is allocated to Unmarried Sons and Daughters. (114,200)

(F3)- Family Third Preference Visa Category: Married Daughters and Sons of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children. (23,400)

(F4)- Family Fourth Preference Visa Category: Siblings (Sisters & Brothers) of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children (minor), provided the U.S. citizen is at least twenty years of age. (65,000)

Kindly Note: There is no category to sponsor your Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, and Grandparents for green card. However, you can sponsor these relatives for Visitor Visa.

Why do you need a Lawyer to Help you With Your Immediate Relative Petition?

Information about U.S. Immigration is readily available online. Suppose you have a clear case that qualifies for the immigration benefit. In that case, you can go to the USCIS website, fill out the forms, and file your case according to the USCIS instructions. Still, if you are not confident and have any criminal history, illegal entries, or run-ins with immigration authorities, you need an experienced lawyer. In India and other countries, people choose Immigration agents, which can be very dangerous for their immigration matters. We always advise not to trust cheap and uneducated agents because most of them are not updated with new policies and U.S Immigration laws.

F4 India law firm can help you sort out what’s legit and junk and how the rules, regulations, statutes, case law, and policies apply to your case.Our Experienced lawyers are better equipped to understand the law and determine how it applies to your specific situation. The difference between getting approval and getting a denial often comes down to your lawyer and the advice they provide. You will save yourself time, avoid risks, minimize stress, and receive maximum benefits with F4 India. Without our guidance, the process is usually more overwhelming, and the outcome is much more uncertain.

Immigration law is complex and ever-changing. The decisions and findings are often entirely discretionary and highly subjective. A small mistake could end up costing you more money in the long term, result in unnecessary delays, and lead to denial of the petition/application and even deportation from the United States.

We’ve seen so many clients mess up their cases because they tried to do things themselves, such as attending a marriage-based green card interview and responding to a Notice of Intent to deny the visa petition without counsel. If you are not clear exactly what you are doing,get legal advice from an experienced attorney.

For more information please read our related article,why you need to hire an immigration lawyer when immigration agents and online immigration services offer lower prices?

Why You Need an Immigration Attorney

  • Filling with an attorney is safe and secure.

  • Avoid delay and costly errors.

  • Analyze your eligibility

  • Spot any potential legal problems

  • Prepare the complete set of complex forms

  • Follow up with USCIS concerning case updates

  • Quick results and fast processing.

  • Only an attorney can guide you in legal matters, while USCIS does not provide legal guidance regarding your case. Even if a USCIS officer may give you advice in some cases, keep in mind that USCIS employees cannot best represent your interests

  • It is essential to have an attorney if you have issues about moral character. For example, if ever in your life you have been arrested for a drug offense or DUI, or other crime.

  • Attorney takes quick action if there is a request for additional evidence by USCIS

  • Sometimes, you need an attorney simply because your case has gotten messy and you need more personalized advice.

The Best US Immigration Law Firm in India and USA

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