Our law firm provides assistance in helping families reunite within the United States including the provision of assistance in filing temporary and permanent family-based visas.
There are two primary types of family visas: immediate relative immigrant visas and family preference visas.
Immediate relative visas:
An unlimited number of immediate relative visas (IR visas) are available each year and they are normally granted assuming the paperwork is properly filed and no other red flags, such as, national security risks, present themselves during the visa application process.
These visas are available for spouses, children* (adopted or natural) under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens.
(*in some instances, visas may be available for step-children.)
Family preference visas:
These types of visas are available for more distant relatives of U.S. citizens, such as, adult children, and siblings.
Additionally, legal-permanent residents can apply for visas for members of their immediate family, such as, their spouses and children under 21.
Other types of family visas are also available, such as K-1/K-3 and K-2/K-4 visas for non-immigrant fiancés and their children. Additionally, certain types of employment-based visas will allow foreign workers to bring their families along.
The visa application process can be very complex and the assistance of an attorney can help ensure that the paperwork and application are correctly submitted.
Additionally, given the limited number of certain types of family-based visas, competition can be fierce, and submitting a full and complete application can be the difference between acceptance and denial.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What documents are required to apply for family visas?
Generally, applicants will need to provide passports, birth certificates, affidavits of support from the U.S.-based petitioner, photographs, and completed medical examination forms.
How long will an application take to process?
Family-based visas in numerically-limited categories, such as visas for spouses and children of permanent residents can take longer than others. There is no way to tell for sure how long an application will take to process, but the more complete and thorough the application, the more likely acceptance.
USCIS and the Department of State publish processing times that provide an estimate time frame for how long the process may take.
Once I have a visa, what do I do once I get to the United States?
When you arrive, you will simply present your documents to U.S. Customs and request entry into the United States. Make sure that your family is appraised of your travel plans so that they can meet you at your port of entry.
How will the recent immigration restrictions affect me?
President Donald Trump’s most recent immigration ban restricts all immigration from North Korea, Syria, Chad, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iran, and Venezuela.
The new travel restrictions will affect all travelers regardless of purpose. Call our office for more information, and for a case-by-case evaluation.
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