Understanding Family-Based Visas
Obtaining legal permanent residency in the United States is a complicated process. Despite the complications, the good news is that there are many options for a foreign national to be able to live and work in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident. Learn how to obtain lawful permanent residency through family-based visas.
Types of Family-Based Visas
You may fall into one of the following categories that may deem you eligible for a family-based visa:
Immediate Relative Visas
You may qualify for an immediate relative visa through a close relationship.
IR-1 Visa - Spouse of a U.S. citizen.
IR-2 Visa - Unmarried children of a U.S. citizen who is under the age of 21.
IR-3 Visa - Orphans who are adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen.
IR-4 Visa - Orphans who are to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen.
IR-5 Visa - Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age.
Family Preference Visas
You may be eligible for a family preference visa through a more distant relationship.
F1 Visa - family first preference for unmarried daughters and sons of a U.S. citizen and their minor children.
F2 Visa - family second preference for spouses, minor children, and unmarried daughters and sones who are over the age of 21.
F3 Visa - family third preference for daughters and sons of U.S. citizens, their spouses as well as minor children.
F4 Visa - family fourth preference for sisters and brothers of a U.S. citizen and their spouses as well as their minor children. The U.S. citizen sibling must be at least 21 years of age.
Not all family members can sponsor a relative for immigration, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are a limited number of visas allocated for a family each fiscal year.
A U.S. citizen who wants to marry a foreign national can apply for a fiancé visa. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
You must be a U.S. Citizen
You have met your fiancé in person within the past two years. An exception to this requirement can be made if there are cultural or religious reasons that would not allow you to meet your fiance in person.
Both you and your fiancé have dissolved any prior marriages through divorce, annulment or death.
Once your fiancé arrives in the U.S., you must get married within 90 days, or your fiance will have to leave the United States. Same-sex couples are also eligible to apply for a fiancé visa if they meet the requirements listed above.
Why You Need an Orange County Immigration Lawyer
Attempting to navigate the murky waters of immigration law can be an exhausting feat. Not having an immigration attorney assist you with your immigration case only leaves you open for errors — and mistakes could cost you your legal permanent residency.
If you need assistance with a family-based visa, we can help. Contact Yekrangi & Associates today at (949) 478-4963 for a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you with all your immigration matters.