Who can I file for to immigrate to the United States?
An “immediate relative” under the immigration laws includes one of the following:
- a spouse of a U.S. citizen,
- an unmarried minor child (under 21) of a U.S. citizen, or
- a parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21).
If you want to file for an Immediate Relative, a visa number is immediately available upon approval of the Form I-130 petition by USCIS. Besides an Immediate Relative relationship, you may also file for a family-based category according to the monthly Visa Bulletin issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). These include the following relationships:
- Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 or older) of a U.S. Citizen
- Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents
- Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Lawful Permanent Residents
- Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
- Brothers and Sisters of Adjust U.S. Citizens
The DOS Visa Bulletin indicates the approximate period of time that your family member will need to wait for a visa number to become available.
Form I-130 petition
In each type of case, upon approval of the Form I-130 petition, USCIS will transfer the file to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing of civil documentation. After the NVC approves the documents received, the file will be forwarded to the consulate for interview purposes.
Our immigration attorneys will help you understand these preference categories, and help you strategize a way to minimize the period of time required for your family member to immigrate to the United States.
Do I need a lawyer to file for my family member?
It is critical to ensure that you start consular processing on the right track, and a period of months could be lost with each mistake. Currently, the NVC requires a period of sixty (60) days to review all documents submitted, consisting of civil and financial documents. Each consulate has its own particular processing requirements regarding document submissions, and in turn, it becomes important to communicate with the NVC throughout the process. Each time that additional evidence or documentation needs to be submitted to the NVC, an additional period of sixty (60) days will generally be required.
Speak with an experienced Consular Processing Attorney
Our immigration law firm will help you avoid unnecessary delays, and where necessary, communicate with USCIS and/or the NVC to successfully complete consular processing. Call us to complete Consular Processing.
We are experienced Consular Processing attorneys with law offices in Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts. We offer a free initial consultation.