Although some types of family-based visas are not difficult to obtain, many applications are rejected because they were incorrectly filled out or improperly submitted. Supporting documentation must all be submitted with the application in order for it to be considered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Contacting an attorney who understands the complexities of United States immigration law will ensure that your paperwork is complete and correctly submitted and that your interests are represented.
Help With All Your Temporary and Permanent Immigration Needs
Often, whether or not you will obtain the temporary visa or permanent green card comes down to the immigration lawyer you hire. Immigration law can be confusing, frustrating, and involve a very long process. An error in your visa application may result in delays.
At the Law Office of Donald E. Robinowitz, you will find professional, intelligent, experienced legal professionals ready to help you with all of your immigration needs. I am attorney Donald Robinowitz. I invite you to learn more about family and employment visa law on this page.
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Most often I recommend the immigrant visa as a means of entry for spouses. As a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your husband or wife, providing you are already married to the person and the marriage took place outside of the U.S.
Family-Based Immigrant Visas
Under federal law, citizens and legal permanent residents can sponsor their family members for immigrant visas. There are no limitations on the total number of visas that can be issued to a child, spouse, or parent of a United States citizen; however, the total number of visas issued to immediate relatives (children, spouses, or parents) of U.S. citizens affects the availability of other family-based immigrant visas. Family-based immigrant visas require careful preparation, but even accurate and thorough applications may face significant delays. An immigration attorney at Donald E. Robinowitz, Attorney at Law in Houston, Texas, can prepare your family-based immigrant visa application and follow it through the visa process. If you have questions about family-based immigration, call Donald E. Robinowitz, Attorney at Law to schedule a consultation.
Family-Based Immigrant Visa Categories and Preferences
Relatives of United States citizens or legal permanent residents are distinguished and assigned preferences for purposes of family-based immigration. Some relationships receive higher priority than others, and some relationships cannot form the basis for an immigrant visa. Once a relative's visa petition is approved, he or she will be issued a visa based on his or her priority date (typically the day on which the petition was filed) and country of origin. Visas are only issued when available, and depending on a relative's priority date, country of origin, and preference level, a visa may be issued immediately or not for several months or years.
Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens. A parent, spouse, or unmarried child under the age of 21 is an "immediate relative." An immediate relative of a U.S. citizen may be issued a visa and allowed to immigrate as soon as his or her petition is approved. A relative who qualifies for a family-based immigrant visa but is not an immediate relative of U.S. citizen will be assigned a priority date, country of origin, and preference level and issued a visa when one becomes available.
Applicants for family-based immigrant visas other than those for an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen are assigned to the following preference categories:
- First Preference - Unmarried Adult Children of U.S. Citizens. This category includes unmarried sons or daughters 21 years of age or older of U.S. citizens.
- Second Preference - Spouses and Children of Legal Permanent Residents. This category includes spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and unmarried sons or daughters 21 years of age or older of legal permanent residents.
- Third Preference - Married Children of U.S. Citizens. This category includes married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Fourth Preference - Siblings of Adult U.S. Citizens. This category includes brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens 21 years of age or older.
Fiancée or Fiancé Visas. Temporary, nonimmigrant fiancée visas are available for foreign nationals to travel to the United States to marry a U.S. citizen. Once married, the foreign national must apply for permanent residence separate from the initial visa application.
Speak to an Immigration Lawyer
Too often, families have been divided by problems in obtaining immigrant visas. Unrealistic expectations as to the amount of time required for processing, the documentation required, and the significance of the preference status results in emotional turmoil for families who just want to be together. If you have questions about family-based immigration, you need to consult with an attorney who understands this complex area of law. An immigration attorney from Donald E. Robinowitz, Attorney at Law in Houston, Texas, can help to reunite your family.
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