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Family Based Immigrant Visas
If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States, or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process.
The USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition, I-130 for Alien Relative, for you. This petition is filed by your relative and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative.
Then, the Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, the foreign national, even if you are already in the United States, When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to you.
If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available to you. This is one way you can apply to secure an immigrant visa number. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you must then go to the U.S. Consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing. This is the other way to secure an immigrant visa number.
CAUTION: In addition, the alien relative must not be inadmissible based on any grounds under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Before applying for any immigration benefit, be sure to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
In order for a relative to petition for you to immigrate to the United States, they must meet the following criteria:
- They must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and be able to provide documentation providing that status.
- They must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line, by filling out an Affidavit of Support
The relatives which may be sponsored as an immigrant vary depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
If the petitioner is a U.S. Citizen, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S.:
- Husband or wife
- Unmarried child under 21 years of age
- Unmarried son or daughter over 21
- Married son or daughter of any age
- Brother or sister, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old, or
- Parent, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old.
If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S.:
- Husband or wife
- Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
In any case, the sponsor must be able to provide proof of the relationship.
Contact our experienced and knowledgeable immigration team when applying for a family based immigrant visa. We are available for you at 407-245-1232. You may also e-mail us at Immigration@NeJameLaw.com or fill out our online form. We will very happy to assist you.