Dangerous conditions in a person’s home country can lead to him or her to seek to immigrate to the U.S., and many would understandably be interested in bringing loved ones along with them. U.S. citizens and permanent residents have the ability to petition for the entry of certain family members to this country on a family immigration visa. This program offers a valuable benefit to the U.S. sponsor and his/her foreign relative, but understanding exactly how the family visa process is structured is like traveling through a maze. Because the immigration system is so difficult to penetrate, the family immigration attorneys at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC are here to help you successfully navigate this process and get your family into this country. Give our Hammond family immigration attorneys the worry, so you can focus on preparing a new home for your loved ones.
Ideally, a person in the U.S. could sponsor any family member for admittance into this country, but the rules are much more stringent, both in terms who can come and how many visas will be issued each year. To complicate things even more, U.S. citizens and permanent residents do not receive the same benefits or abilities. U.S. citizens can ask for family visas for all immediate family members (spouses, minor children, and parents) at any time, and the request will be fully considered immediately, with no limit on the number of visas issued each year. By contrast, permanent residents, and adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens face a different road and must work through the immigration preference system, which sets a cap on the number of visas that can be issued each calendar year. One possible avenue to speed up processing is if a permanent resident becomes a U.S. citizen before the foreign relative visa is approved or denied.
If the sponsor and foreign relative have the correct status and familial connection, the process starts with the U.S. sponsor filing a Petition for Alien Relative with the Department of Homeland Security. These petitions will only be accepted from sponsors who are over 21, can prove he/she can financially support the foreign relative, and hold documents that show how they are related. Applicants enter the process when a visa number is available, and at this point, are asked to provide U.S. authorities with information on their identities, financial holdings, background activities/affiliations, and medical concerns.
In conjunction with submitting the documents mentioned above, the applicant will also be required to see a designated doctor to perform a basic medical exam and screen for specific illnesses and conditions. The exam is relatively non-invasive with just a simple physical exam, bloodwork, and x-rays. Those with concerns, though, should discuss them with a family immigration attorney in advance of the appointment to learn if any issues may arise.
Once everything explored in the preceding sections is completed, an interview with at U.S. consulate will be assigned and communicated to the applicant and his/her U.S. sponsor. This meeting is mandatory and will consist of questions that look at the applicant’s previous affiliations, activities, and reasons for coming to the U.S, among other issues. Attorneys and other third-party representatives may also attend, which will increase the applicant’s chance at passing this final barrier.
If you have non-U.S. family members living abroad, you may have the ability to petition the immigration authorities for permanent resident status for certain family members. However, as with all dealings with federal immigration authorities, the process for obtaining a Green Card is complex and should be prepared and filed in conjunction with an experienced immigration law attorney as soon as possible. If you have questions about the family immigration visa program and want to give your family the best chance at success, speak with the attorneys at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC. Contact the Hammond family immigration firm for a consultation.
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