Family-based Immigration lawyers specialize in reuniting families as they understand that nothing is more important than keeping your loved ones with you in the United States after becoming a permanent resident and, eventually, a US Citizen. As the petitioner, the family member seeking permanent residency status is referred to as the beneficiary in this process. This complex legal journey requires the dedication of these professionals to navigate the intricacies of immigration law and ensure the safety of families throughout the country.
An immigration lawyer for a spouse visa at Bassey Immigration Law Center can help you navigate US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements so that your family members can join you permanently in the US
Benefits of Having a Family Immigration Lawyer
A family immigration lawyer guides you through the often complex process of obtaining permanent residency or citizenship. There is evidence to submit and forms to file, all subject to strict deadlines. A family immigration lawyer can advise you on your family member’s eligibility to become a lawful permanent resident. We can also identify any potential problems you or a family member may face during this undertaking.,
We can answer all of your questions regarding the immigration process. It is vital that you understand the process every step of the way.
Eligibility Requirements for Family-Based Immigration
There are two kinds of family-based immigration visas. The immediate relative visa is based on close family relationships with a US Citizen. There is no limit on the number of such immigrants in a fiscal year. The immediate relatives of a principal applicant are the spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and the parents of a US Citizen who is 21 or older.
A family preference immigration visa allows lawful permanent residents to file petitions for their spouse or unmarried children. US Citizens can also file immigrant visa petitions for married children and siblings under the family preference category. Lawful permanent residents cannot file a petition for siblings or parents. The family preference visa is subject to limitations for each fiscal year.
Keep in mind that there are certain conditions that render family members ineligible for a visa. As per the US Department of State, these include:
- Failure to present documentation of having received vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases.
- A physical or mental disorder and behavior associated with the disorder that may pose, or has posed, a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others.
- Conviction of or admission to committing crimes of moral turpitude.
- Violation of laws and regulations relating to controlled substances.
- More than two criminal convictions, other than political crimes, for which the aggregate sentences exceeded five years.
- Foreign government officials who committed particularly severe violations of religious freedom.
If the consular officer or the Attorney General has reason to believe the alien seeks to enter the US to engage in an activity violating US law relating to espionage or sabotage, that person is inadmissible.
There are exceptions to some of these ineligibilities, and it is possible to request a waiver.
Family-Based Immigration Categories
Family preference immigrant categories include:
- First preference (F1)–unmarried sons and daughters aged 21 and up of US Citizens.
- Second preference (F2A)–Spouses and children, unmarried and under age 21, of lawful permanent residents.
- Second preference (F2B)–Unmarried children aged 21 and up of lawful permanent residents.
- Third preference (F3)–Married children of US residents.
- Fourth preference (F4)–Brothers and sisters of US Citizens, if the US Citizen is 21 or older.
What is the Processing Time for Family-Based Visas?
While the processing time for family-based visas varies according to individual circumstances, in general it is shorter when the petitioner is a US Citizen rather than a legal permanent resident. Spouses, children under the age of 21, and parents usually do not have to wait as long as married children or brothers and sisters.
It may take two to three years to complete the process for a permanent resident’s spousal or children’s visa. Siblings might have to wait a decade, while visa approval for married children may take seven years or more. The family of a US Citizen may have to wait just a short time, often less than six months.
The country of origin is another factor when it comes to processing times. Expect longer processing times if your family member is from India, China, or the Philippines. The current USCIS backlog also plays a role in the time it takes for processing.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer
If you would like to petition for or sponsor a family member, you need the services of an experienced immigration lawyer at the Bassey Immigration Law Center. No matter where you are from around the globe, we can help. Schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida.