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A Guide To Family-Based Immigration In The United StatesIn this article, you can discover:

  • The process for obtaining a spousal visa and the required forms.
  • The process for obtaining a visa for parents of US citizens.
  • The role of financial support in family-based immigration.
  • The required documents for a family-based immigration petition.

What Is The Process For Obtaining A Spousal Visa?

If the spouse is present in the United States on a non-immigrant or immigrant visa, such as an F1, a K-1, or even a visitor’s visa, the US citizen can petition for the spouse using Form I-130.

A spouse can apply for lawful permanent resident status if they are in the United States through Form I-485.

Additionally, a medical form and an affidavit of support are required, and the spouse can also petition for work authorization at the same time. Since a spouse is an immediate family member, those visas are not limited, and a visa is immediately available.

Can Parents Of US Citizens Obtain A Visa?

If the parent is outside the US, the US citizen’s adult child must file an I-130 petition. Once approved, the case will go from the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of State, the National Visa Center, and then the parents will interview at the US Consulate in their home country and obtain an immigrant visa. Once the parents enter the United States, they will automatically become lawful permanent residents.

How Long Does The Family-Based Immigration Process Take?

The Family-Based Immigration process usually takes between one and two years.

What Is The Role Of Financial Support In Family-Based Immigration?

The affidavit of support or Form I-864 is required with any family-based visa application packet. Upon signing, the person filing the affidavit or the benefit of the intending immigrant will be financially responsible for the intending immigrant for 40 quarters or 10 years.

This is to prevent the intending immigrant from requiring any sort of state or federal welfare or support from the government, such as food stamps or Medicaid. The person submitting the affidavit of support guarantees that the intending immigrant will not have to go on government assistance.

Are There Any Limits To The Number Of Family-based Visas Available?

For immediate relatives, there are no limits, but for other categories, such as F-2, F-3, and F-4, there are limits.

How Can Someone Prove Their Relationship With Someone In The US?

The best way is to provide a birth certificate if it’s a parent or a marriage certificate if it’s a spouse. Birth certificates, even for siblings, can also be used if they show the same mother. These are the best ways to prove the familial relationship.

What Happens If A Spouse Or Family Member Is In The US Illegally?

There are two ways someone can be in the US illegally. One is by overstaying their visa, and the other is by entering the US without a visa. In either case, a US citizen spouse can petition for that person, and they can adjust their status immediately. If the immigrant entered without inspection, they must file a waiver of inadmissibility after the I-130 petition is approved.

After the waiver is approved, the intending immigrant would leave the US and interview with the consulate in their home country. If they pass the background and health check, they will be approved for a visa and enter the US as a lawful permanent resident.

What Documents Are Required For A Family-Based Immigration Petition?

Birth and marriage certificates and wedding or civil union ceremony photos are required. Financial documents showing that the family is living as a family unit, such as sharing a bank account, cell phone plan, or insurance policy, are also necessary.

Additionally, house documents like leases, mortgages, or deeds, can also show the familial relationship. Photos showing the relationship between the parties, such as traveling together or doing activities together, can also be used as evidence.

Can A Person Work While Their Family-Based Immigration Petition Is Being Processed?

If a person does not already have a basis for employment authorization, such as from another type of visa, they can still work while their family-based immigration petition is being processed. In this case, they would need to apply for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, which is usually the first thing approved in the process.

It typically takes around six months to receive approval for Form I-765. Once approved, the person can accept employment. The ability to work may also depend on the different types of visas that the intending immigrant has held in the past.

For more information on Family-Based Immigration To The United States, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (662) 672-6663 today.

Areas We Serve: DeSoto County, Southaven

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