March 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- What you need to know about family-based immigrant visas
Article provided by Law Offices of Garcia, Ramirez, and Pina
Visit us at http://www.southtexasimmigration.com
Foreign nationals can obtain a visa in the United States on the basis of a family relationship with a U.S. citizen. Specifically, foreign nationals can take advantage of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas or Family Preference Immigrant Visas, depending upon the specifics of the relationship.
Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas
In order to obtain an Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa, also known as an IR/CR Visa, a foreign national must have a close relative that is a U.S. citizen. Qualifying relationships include a spouse of a U.S. citizen, an unmarried child under 21 years old of a U.S. citizen, an orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen, an orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen, or a parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age. There are an unlimited number of these Visas available each year, and as a result it is not uncommon for these relationships to be viewed as the most convenient way to obtain a United States Visa.
Family Preference Immigrant Visas
These four distinct types of Visas, unlike Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas deal with more distant familial relationships:
-F1 Visas may be granted to a U.S. citizen's unmarried son or daughter or the son's or daughter's minor children
-F2 Visas may be granted to a Lawful Permanent Resident's spouse, minor unmarried children and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or older)
-F3 Visas may be granted to a U.S. citizen's married son or daughter and his or her spouse and minor children.
-F4 Visas maybe be granted to a U.S. citizen's brother or sister and his or her spouse and minor children, provided the US. Citizen is at least 21 years of age.
There are a limited number of F Visas issued each year, and each type has its own annual quota. If a particular category exceeds its quota for the year, the Visa Office imposes a cut-off date. At that point, Family Preference Immigrant Visas will be issued chronologically, using the filing date of a petition as the applicant's priority date. When the Visa Office begins to accept that priority date, a Visa can then be issued. The waiting period can be a matter of months or several years, depending upon the demand for a Visa and the limitations on the issuance of a particular kind of Visa.
File a petition and start the process
If you are the sponsoring relative of a foreign national seeking to obtain a U.S. visa, you will need to file a Petition for Alien Relative with the Department of Homeland Security' U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And if you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, you may be able to file a petition while residing outside the country under certain circumstances. For more information about obtaining a visa, speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise you about your particular case.---
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