Thousands of people come to the United States every year to realize the American Dream, but in their quest for doing so, they leave loved ones behind. The separation from family members is extremely difficult for many immigrants in the country. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, citizens of the United States can petition loved ones so they too, can enter the country. The Act places a limit on the number of family-based visas available every year and the Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine eligibility for these visas. Anyone who wants to bring a family member into the country should speak to a Chicago family immigration lawyer for help.
The individuals who sponsor a family member are known as petitioners. Petitioners must be permanent residents of the United States, so they must be citizens of the country or have lawful permanent resident status. The family members in a foreign country being sponsored by a permanent resident are known as beneficiaries. When a beneficiary has a spouse or children of their own, these individuals are sometimes considered derivative beneficiaries. Beneficiaries typically come to the United States in the hopes of obtaining a green card of their own.
Beneficiaries fall into one of two classifications. The first is immediate relatives, which can include a permanent resident’s spouse, parents, and unmarried children. There is an unlimited amount of these visas available each year.
Family members who are ineligible for consideration as an immediate relative are considered a family preference. Unlike the visas available for immediate relatives, there is a cap placed on family preference visas every year. Due to this, there is typically a long waiting list for family preference visas, so it can take longer to bring family members overusing this route.
The process of applying for a green card on behalf of a family member starts with filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form confirms that there is a familial relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. If the beneficiary is classified as a family preference, a priority date will be set. This confirms how long the beneficiary will have to wait for their visa. Regardless of the classification of the beneficiary, after they have obtained their visa, they can then start the process of applying for a green card.
Being separated from your loved ones is incredibly difficult, but it is possible to be reunited with them once again. If you are a permanent resident of the United States and wish to bring family members over, call our Chicago family immigration lawyers at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates today. We will ensure your petition is filed properly to avoid unnecessary delays, and give you and your loved ones the best chance of success. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced attorneys.
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