What Options Are There for Family Visas?

 Posted on June 20, 2024 in Family Visa

United States immigration lawyerFamily visas are an important aspect of U.S. immigration law, allowing U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to sponsor family members for immigration to the United States. These visas are designed to promote family unity and provide a pathway for close relatives to live and work in the country. A United States lawyer can help you determine which option may be better for you as you consider the various family visa options.

Immediate Relative Visas (IR)

Immediate Relative (IR) visas are available to the closest family members of U.S. citizens. These visas are not subject to annual limits, meaning they are always available if the eligibility criteria are met. The following family members qualify for IR visas:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens (IR-1): This visa permits the foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen to immigrate to the United States. The couple must have a legal marriage, and the marriage must be genuine, not merely for immigration purposes.
  • Unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens (IR-2): U.S. citizens can sponsor their children who are not yet married and who are also under 21 years old for a visa. This includes biological children, stepchildren, and adopted children (if the adoption took place before the child turned 16).
  • Parents of U.S. citizens (IR-5): U.S. citizens aged 21 and older are eligible to sponsor their foreign national parents for permanent residency. U.S. citizens must demonstrate the ability to support their parents financially and provide proof of the relationship.

To apply for an IR visa, the sponsor is required to fill out Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and submit it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once approval is received for the petition, the foreign national relative can apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, or if already in the U.S., the individual may apply for an adjustment of status to obtain a green card.

Fiancé(e) Visas (K-1)

The K-1 nonimmigrant visa enables U.S. citizens to bring their foreign national fiancés to the United States with the intention of getting married. To be eligible for a K-1 visa, the following requirements must be met:

  • A U.S. citizen sponsor is required to file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS and present proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • The couple is required to have the intention to get married within 90 days following the fiancé(e)’s entry into the United States.
  • Each party must be legally eligible to marry, ensuring that any prior marriages have been legally dissolved.
  • Couples are required to have met in person within the last two years, though exceptions can be made under specific conditions.

Get Help From a United States Immigration Lawyer

To ensure the best possible outcome for your case, consider consulting with a United States immigration attorney. With legal representation, you can better understand your options through the application process. Call Abogado de Inmigración at 844-464-4727 to start with a free consultation.

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