For many immigrants, family-based visas are the first step toward becoming a United States citizen. If you have a family member who is a U.S. citizen and a lawful and permanent resident, that relative may be able to sponsor you, allowing you to obtain a family-based visa. That said, not everyone is eligible, so continue reading to learn more.
Obtaining a Family-Based Visa
Only current United States citizens and lawful and permanent residents are allowed to sponsor relatives for an immigrant visa or a green card. If your family member only holds a temporary immigrant visa, they cannot sponsor you.
Moreover, there are two types of visas available – Family Preference Immigrant and Immediate Relative. If you are seeking a Family Preference Immigrant visa, it is important to note that these limited and only a certain amount are given each year. On the other hand, there are no limits on Immediate Relative visas.
You may be eligible for an Immediate Relative visa if:
- You are the spouse of a United States citizen
- You are the unmarried children of a United States citizen
- You are an orphan and your adoption by a United States citizen is pending
- You are the parent of an adult United States citizen
- You are an orphan who was adopted by a United States citizen
Those eligible for a Family Preference Immigrant visa include:
- Unmarried children of United State citizens and, if applicable, any minor children
- Spouses, adult unmarried daughters and sons, and minor children of legal permanent residents
- Married daughters and sons of United States citizens, and their minor children and spouses
- Brothers and sisters of adult United States citizens, and their minor children and spouses
To apply for a family-based visa, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative must be filed. If the relative is already residing in the United States, that person may apply to become a green card holder once a visa number becomes available through Form I-485. If the relative is residing outside of the United States, the petition must be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will forward the petition to the proper United States consulate.
How long your family member waits for a visa will depend on their preference category.
Contact Our Immigration Law Firm to Get Started on Your Case Today!
At the Law Offices of Joyce Komanapalli Jones, our immigration law firm is committed to providing high-quality legal services for your immigration and family matters. With years of professional experience on our side, you can rely on us to secure the results you need.
Reach out to our law office today at (949) 264-0323 to schedule a free initial consultation.