Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Immigration Law Provides Opportunities to Bring Foreign-Born Relatives to the United States

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can petition for visas to bring certain foreign-born relatives to live in the United States.  How fast the process works depends on whether the petitioner is a citizen and which relative is involved.

Spouses, minor children, and in some cases parents of U.S. citizens are defined as "immediate relatives."  The process for immediate relatives tends to be much quicker than other relatives.  Immediate relatives, for example, do not have to wait for a visa number to become available to immigrate.  Immediate relatives also have more liberal rules to allow them to adjust to status if they are present in the Untied States after being inspected and admitted.

Adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens, and spouses and children of permanent residents can also immigrate. But, the numbers are limited by Congress to 400,000 per year.  This is called the preference system.  Visas become available based on the date that the visa petition is filed.  For some countries, it is not unusual to have to wait years for a visa to become available.  In most cases, these relatives must process their visa applications at their local U.S. Consulate before being admitted as a permanent resident.

For more information on the availability of family-based visas, and the process, please click here to see my article.

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
(703) 837-8832

No comments:

Post a Comment