There are various hoops and hurdles families must overcome to legally migrate to the US. For a US citizen wishing to bring their foreign national relative to the US, they may be required to apply for a family preference visa. Through this process, the applicant will be asked to submit various applications accompanied by other forms of evidence and documents proving familial ties and the desire to enter the US.
For more insight, speak with a Doraville family preference visa lawyer. To get started on your case, call today to schedule an initial consultation.
Is It Possible to Help a Visiting Family Member Legalize their Stay?
It is possible to stay if a foreign national has the ability to legalize their status through some other methods that are not through a family member. For example, if they are a US citizen and their cousin is visiting from another country and wants to stay here, there is no visa preference category for cousins and there is nothing that they can use to file for them.
However, that cousin can possibly enroll in the university and pursue a course of study which would then allow him to obtain a student visa. Another example is that perhaps that person qualifies for some type of employment visa, and a company can petition for him.
Other examples, such as spouses of lawful permanent residents, children of permanent residents, siblings of US citizens, and adult children of US citizens all have their own visa preference category. Unfortunately, if that person stays in the United States, adjustment status to obtain their green card will not be an option.
What are the Various Family Preference Categories?
Family members applying for a family preference visa are split into four distinct categories based on their relationship with their family member who is a US citizen:
- Category one
- Category two
- Category three
- Category four
Category one includes the unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens. Category two has two sections, spouses and children under 21 and children over the age of 21. Category three includes the married sons and daughters of US citizens, and category four includes the brothers and sisters of the US citizens.
How Does a Family Member Apply to be Entered into a Family Preference Category?
The first and most important step is for the petitioner to file an I-130 petition for an alien relative. The purpose of this petition is to establish the relationship between the petitioner and their family member outside the US. For example, if they are filing for their brother who was born in another country and the petitioner is a US citizen, the petitioner must file a petition and show how they are related to their brother by way of their birth certificate or their parent’s birth certificate and marriage certificate if there is one.
Establishing the relationship would lead to their I-130 being approved. This is what will allow their family member at some point in the future when the visa becomes available in their visa preference to come to the United States.
Is there a Quota for Family Preference Visas?
Family preference visas are subject to quotas set by congress years ago, and every single preference has a different amount. For example, family preference F1 for unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, every single year, Homeland Security can only approve 23,400 immigrant visas for that category.
This quota is calculated by how many visas are available to be distributed amongst the people that are applying and how many people are applying. If there are only 23,400 available in one category and there is half a million people applying in that same category, then basically it is a waiting game where, at the moment they send in their family petition, they are claiming their spot on the line and are in process to receive their green card.
Consult with a Family Preference Visa Attorney in Doraville Today
When submitting a petition for an alien relative in order to acquire legal status for the first time, it is recommended to touch base with an attorney before getting started. For family preference visas, an attorney could review the details of your situation and advise you on your next steps. Without the help of a Doraville family preference visa lawyer, you may make unnecessary decisions that could not only result in a delayed application, but potentially a denial as well. To learn more, call today.