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Cicero Immigration Lawyers Can Assist You In Your Immigration Process

Going through the petition process for an immigration visa can be an extremely anxiety-inducing experience. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we understand the importance of reuniting family members and assisting those who are facing removal proceedings. Regardless of whether you have questions about applying for an immigrant visa or concerns about deportation defense, a dedicated family immigration attorney can speak with you today about your case.

Most immigrants to the U.S. obtain visas in one of two ways: either through an employment-based visa category, or through a family-based visa category. Any foreign citizen who wants to live in the United States permanently must obtain an immigrant visa. While there are some options for a nonimmigrant visa to help keep families together while awaiting the immigration process to move forward, obtaining an immigrant visa is the first step you need to take in order to become a Green Card holder, a category that is also known as a lawful permanent resident.

Filing a Petition for a Family-Based Immigrant Visa

As the U.S. Department of State website clarifies, there are different types of visas for which the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may be eligible. An immigration visa is the first step in seeking a Green Card, or lawful permanent residency, in the United States. As such, it is extremely important to ensure that you file your I-130, Petition for Alien Relative form, very carefully and that you abide by the government’s requirements at each step of the immigration process.

If you are filing a petition as a current U.S. citizen on behalf of a family member, a fact sheet provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains that the following categories of persons may be able to obtain a Green Card:

  • Spouse;
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21;
  • Parents of the petitioner, as long as the petitioner is aged 21 or older;
  • Married children of any age; and
  • Brothers and/or sisters, as long as the petitioner is aged 21 or older.

In some situations, immigrants may be members of a special category and also may qualify for an immigrant visa. For example, battered spouses or children may qualify under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a person who is born to a foreign diplomat in the U.S., or a widow of a U.S. citizen may be eligible to apply for a Green Card. Does the law change when the petitioner is not a U.S. citizen, but rather is a lawful permanent resident himself or herself with a Green Card? Typically, USCIS explains that a Green Card holder can petition for a spouse or unmarried children to apply for lawful permanent residency status.

Nonimmigrant (V) Visas for Family Members

In addition to information about immigrant visas and procedures, current Green Card holders in the United States who are seeking to reunite with a spouse or children should also learn more about the nonimmigrant (V) visa.

What is a V visa? In brief, as an information sheet from the U.S. Department of State explains, the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act) is aimed specifically at reuniting families during the long process of immigration. Depending upon your specific situation and your priority dates, if you are a current lawful permanent resident and are planning to petition for an immigrant visa for a spouse or a child (the child must be under the age of 21), your family members may be able to obtain a V visa. With a V visa, you may be able to reunite with your family sooner.

Contact a Family Immigration Attorney in Illinois

Do you have questions about obtaining a family-based visa or building a strong deportation defense for a family member? An experienced family immigration attorney in Illinois can assist with your case. Contact Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC today.