Immediate Relative Visas in Birmingham
One of the advantages of being a United States Citizen is the ability to bring your immediate family members to join you here permanently. Immigration law favors family reunification and does not limit the number of visas the U.S. issues yearly to the close relatives of citizens.
However, obtaining a visa for an immediate family member is complex, time-consuming, and stressful. A knowledgeable family immigration attorney could guide you through the process of obtaining immediate relative visas in Birmingham and help relieve some of the stress and uncertainty that most people experience.
Who Can Pursue an Immediate Relative Visa?
A U.S. citizen can sponsor their spouse and unmarried children under 21 for an Immediate Family visa. If a citizen is 21, they may sponsor their parents. The advantage of seeking a visa in the Immediate Family category is that the U.S. does not limit the number of these permits that it issues annually, so a visa is immediately available once U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes the paperwork.
Applying for an Immediate Family visa requires both the sponsor and the visa applicant to submit documentation and supporting evidence. A Birmingham attorney could review the documentation requirements with a sponsor and applicant to ensure their application for an immediate relative visa will not face delays.
Requirements to Sponsor an Immediate Family Member
A citizen who wishes to bring their family members to the U.S. permanently on Immediate Relative visas must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for each person they sponsor. In addition, every sponsor must complete an Affidavit of Support. The Affidavit is a promise to provide for the applicant’s financial needs. A Birmingham lawyer could further explain the financial requirements and help a sponsor compile the necessary proof of financial means.
If the family member is already legally in the United States, they could file a Form I-485 to adjust their status when the sponsor submits the Petition. Doing so can significantly cut the processing time.
If the immediate family members seeking sponsorship are overseas, they must remain there. When USCIS approves the citizen’s Petition, the family member then apply immediately by filing Form I-485 and providing all the supporting documentation to the National Visa Center (NVC). Once the NVC is satisfied that the application is complete, it forwards the materials to the Consulate or Embassy in the country where the family member resides.
How Does the Interview Process Work?
It is key to understand that everyone applying for an immediate relative visa must complete a personal interview. USCIS will handle the interview process if the applicant is in the U.S. If the applicant is overseas, their interview will take place at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where they reside. In a typical case, several months will elapse between acceptance of the I-485 materials and the interview date.
Interviews can be stressful and personal. The interviewer will confirm the relationship between the applicant and sponsor and verify all information contained in the application. The immediate relative applicant should have copies of all the documents they filed in support of their application with them at the interview, along with any other materials that might be helpful.
For example, an applicant seeking to immigrate as a citizen’s spouse would have submitted official records of the marriage when they submitted their application. The spouse could also bring photographs and other proof that they lived with the citizen as a married couple, such as proof of joint bank accounts, leases or mortgage documents that name both parties, and photographs of their life together since the marriage. Compiling all of this information may seem overwhelming, but a detail-oriented Birmingham lawyer could help with gathering evidence and taking all the steps necessary to secure a family preference visa.
Seek Help with an Immediate Family Visa from a Birmingham Attorney
Being apart from close family can produce stress and tension and prevent you from living your best life. Thankfully, as a U.S. citizen, you have the right to sponsor your loved ones for an Immediate Family visa.
The application process is cumbersome, with many pitfalls for people who are not prepared. The guidance of our skilled legal team could help. If you are struggling to understand Immediate Relative visas in Birmingham, call to speak with a knowledgeable professional today.