Seeking to enter the U.S. involves interacting with several U.S. federal agencies as part of the immigration process. Government agencies are notoriously difficult to navigate, and the family immigration process is particularly opaque and hard to handle. Consequently, U.S. residents, both citizens and permanent residents, hoping to bring family members into this country on a family visa petition have the best chance of gaining approval by working with a family immigration attorney. The path to a Green Card and the right to remain in this country long-term are initiated by the sponsoring U.S. citizen or permanent resident directly filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) domestically. At the most basic level, family immigrant visa applicants must go through a two-step process before learning if their request will be granted. With multiple steps, having the guidance of a family immigration attorney is key to properly and successfully submitting the initial petition and subsequent application. The Merrillville attorneys at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC fully understand all the steps in the family visa process and want to help you bring your loved ones here as soon as possible.
Only certain family members are allowed to enter as permanent residents under immigration rules, and extensive disclosure of biographical and employment information must be included by the U.S. sponsor and the foreign applicant. In all cases where a family visa is desired, an initial analysis must be conducted to see if the foreign relative qualifies for admittance under the program. Specifically, U.S. citizens can petition for immediate review and issuance of a family visa for immediate family members (spouses, minor, children, and parents), while permanent residents relatives and more distant relatives of U.S. citizens, must wait for processing according to a preference system. This system regulates how many visas are allowed per year according to the status of the U.S. sponsor and country of origin of the foreign relative. If a sponsoring permanent resident becomes a U.S. citizen during this process, the procedure used to move the petition through the system changes, and may result in shorter wait time.
Assuming the initial analysis shows moving forward is appropriate, the first step to getting a family visa, and before an applicant even has an opportunity to present his/her case to a government official, requires the sponsoring relative to submit a family-based petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) to the USCIS. The sponsor must be at least 21 years old, produce evidence that he/she can pay for the living expenses of the foreign relative, and show a direct connection to the relative through birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc. Once the petition is accepted, and the application allowed to proceed, the foreign relative will be responsible for submitting documentation establishing his/her identity, medical records, financial statements, and general background.
One of the most overwhelming aspects of this process is the medical exam by a doctor approved by U.S. authorities to administer screenings to potential immigrants into the U.S. This exam is part of the family visa process to ensure that no one with an illness or disease considered to be a public health concern is given permission to enter into the U.S. This is accomplished through a physical exam, blood tests, and x-rays.
Once a visa number opens, the local U.S. Consulate Office will notify the applicant, the petitioner, and any representatives of the time and date scheduled for the visa interview. This stage is where the application process is completed, and involves providing requested forms and documents and attending the mandatory interview. The primary purpose of the consular interview is to verify the information provided in the petition and immigration application and to review the applicant’s medical, criminal, and financial records to ensure he/she is admissible into the U.S.
The family immigration visa process is an important avenue for bringing loved ones into this country for the long-term, but with all the steps involved, it is easy to miss something or provide the wrong information. Working with an experienced immigration attorney is the best way to ensure your loved one has a good chance at approval. Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC focuses on immigration issues and can put this knowledge to use for your family. Call the Merrillville immigration law firm today to schedule an appointment.
First of all, I want to thank Brittni Rivera for helping with my case. Ever since the first day she was working on my case, every time I asked for an update, she would respond quickly. Brittni handled my case with great professionalism and a great outcome. I would highly recommend working with Kriezelman Burton & Associates.
I can not recommend Kevin Raica and Justin Burton enough. They are the lawyers who get their job done. Super professional, organized and always on point!
Incredibly thankful to have been referred to Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC. Erin Cobb and her paralegal Kamila were responsive, helpful, and professional. I really couldn't be more satisfied with the outcome of my case. Highly recommend!