Being separated from your family members is extremely difficult. Fortunately, citizens of the United States can petition to bring their loved ones from a foreign country to the U.S. However, the Immigration and Nationality Act imposes a limit on the number of some types of family-based visas that are available every year. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine which applicants are eligible for family-based visas. If you want to bring a family member into the United States from another country, a Chicago family immigration attorney can help you through the process and give you the best chance of success.
To apply for a family-based visa, at least two family members must participate. These individuals are known as the petitioner and the beneficiary. The petitioner is a person who lives in the United States either as a lawful permanent resident or as a citizen of the United States. On the other hand, the beneficiary is a family member in a foreign country who wants to obtain a green card. In some instances, the beneficiary sometimes has a spouse and children that may qualify as derivative beneficiaries.
When petitioning to bring a family member to the United States from another country, those relatives fall into one of two categories. The first is immediate relatives, which include spouses, parents, and unwed children. There is no limit placed on the amount of these visas that are available every year.
Any family members that do not qualify as immediate relatives are considered family preferences. There is a cap placed on the amount of these visas that are distributed each year. As such, there is a backlog of these requests, which means a longer wait to obtain family preference visas than immediate relative visas.
To begin the process of applying for a green card for a family member, the petitioner must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes that the petitioner and the beneficiary have a family relationship. If the foreign relative falls into the family preference category, a priority date is set. This date establishes a person’s place in line for receiving a green card. After the USCIS approves the petition and a visa number is available, the beneficiary can then apply for a green card. The amount of time this will take depends on whether the beneficiary is an immediate relative or a family preference.
No one should ever be separated from their loved ones. If you live in the United States and want to bring a family member over from another country, call our Chicago family immigration lawyers today. At Kriezelman, Burton & Associates, we will explain what options are available to you, and ensure you understand the entire process. We will also make sure your petition is filed accurately, so there are not any unnecessary delays with your application. Call us today or contact us online so we can get started on your case right away.
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