5 Things to Understand About Family Immigration Law

5 Things To Understand About Family Immigration Law

United States citizens and long-term residents can submit petitions for visas for certain relatives. The amount of time it requires to get a family immigration visa in Dallas depends upon the petitioner and the kind of relative. This will also determine which applications to send.

(1) Types of Family Immigration Law Visas

There are 2 kinds of family immigration law visas; Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa and Family Preference Immigrant Visa.

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas are not restricted each financial year. These types consist of:

  • IR-1 Spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • IR-2 An unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
  • IR-3 An orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-4 An orphan adopted in U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5 A mother or father of a U.S. citizen 21 years of age or over

Family Preference Immigrant Visas are for more distant relationships with a U.S. citizen and some particular relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).

These visas are restricted to a particular number each year. These types consist of:

  • (F1) Family first preference: unmarried children of American citizens and their children under 18 years old (23,400 annually).
  • (F2) Family second preference: spouses, minor children, and adult children of LPRs. 77% of the visas go to spouses and minor children, the rest go to children over the age of 21. (114,200).
  • (F3) Family third preference: married children of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children (23,400).
  • (F4) Family fourth preference: siblings of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children, if the United States citizens are at least 21 years of age (65,000).

When the Family Preference Immigrant Visas have all been designated, there will be a waitlist.

These petitions will be chosen in order based upon file date. Your file date is your priority date. Your petition might not be authorized prior to your priority date and in many cases, it might be years before a petition is approved.

(2) Filing A Petition

The initial step to getting a Family Immigration Visa is submitting a petition with the office of USCIS.

A U.S. citizen needs to be 21 years of age or older to petition for siblings or parents, must be over 18 to sign an Affidavit of Support and should have a home in the United States to live for the foreseeable future.

If your status changes from LPR to U.S. citizen after you declare a petition for a visa, this will alter the kind of visa your family member gets. Your spouse or kids will now be considered immediate family and there will be no limitation on visas.

Adopted kids might get approved for U.S. citizenship also. Adult kids may upgrade from F2 to F1, although they might give up the upgrade considering that the waitlist for F2 is generally much shorter.

(3) Application, Fees and Documents

When the USCIS authorizes the petition for visa, the National Visa Center (NVC) will appoint a case number. The NVC will need an Address and Agent form (Form DS-261).

You will also be required to send necessary fees (filing and processing costs, medical examination charges, etc.), immigrant visa documents, applications, civil documents (birth/marriage certificates), and so on.

If your petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under 18 years old may also apply for immigration visas. They will so be required to submit all needed documentation and pay necessary costs.

(4) Interview

As soon as all your costs and documents are taken care of, an interview is arranged. The NVC will send out all documentation to the United States Embassy or the Consulate where the interview will occur.

The consular representative will identify if the petitioner is qualified to get an immigrant visa. All medical exams and vaccinations need to be carried out prior to the interview.

(5) Moving to America

When you get your immigrant visa, the consular office will provide a passport and official sealed files to be opened by a U.S. immigration officer as soon as you go into the United States.

You must arrive in the United States prior to the expiration date on your visa. The main applicant must arrive in the United States prior to or at the exact same time as members of the family. You must also pay the immigration cost to the USCIS prior to getting in the United States.

Applying for a family immigration visa can be frustrating. It is typical for an immigration lawyer to help in the procedure. Submitting the incorrect documentation or finishing actions out of order can postpone or stop your application process.

If you would like more details about family immigration law, please call the offices of Davis & Associates where our family immigration law attorneys can help you with everything you need.


About Davis & Associates:

Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in North Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Frisco, McKinney and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family immigration law, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals. Attorney Garry L. Davis is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Contact Info:
Davis & Associates
Address: 17750 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75252
Phone: (972) 694-4873