For some residents of foreign countries, the possibility of lawful residency within the United States is just a dream. In certain cases, that dream could become a reality for a family member of a United States resident.
While family visas are awarded every year, the process of applying for one can be challenging. In addition to the long wait that is often a part of the process, many applications are denied based on seemingly minor errors. Before you begin the Huntsville family visa application process, consider discussing your options with a seasoned immigration attorney.
Determining Eligibility for Obtaining a Family Visa
Only certain family members of a United States resident are eligible for a family visa. There are multiple types of family visas, each of which has different requirements. For that reason, it is vital for a prospective applicant to determine they are eligible before they apply.
The type of visa sought will play a major role in determining eligibility. Some visas are tied to the marital status of the applicant and their U.S. sponsor. If a person is not eligible, a visa application will be in vain.
Initiating the Family Visa Process
Initiating the application for a family visa is done through a series of forms. The most important of these forms is known as Form I-130. Also known as the Petition for Alien Relatives, this form must be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Also known as USCIS, this division of the Department of Homeland Security will ultimately approve or deny the application.
Along with Form I-130, the applicant must also complete Form DS-260. This lengthy form is primarily for biographical information, and it is required of anyone applying for an immigrant visa.
There are supporting documents that must also be submitted along with a visa application. These include affidavits of support submitted by a U.S. citizen and the applicant’s passport from their home country. Other documents that could be required are marriage records, a recent photo, and records related to their birth or adoption.
Required Medical Examinations
Individuals seeking a family visa are required to submit to a medical exam before they can enter the country. This exam will begin with a physician reviewing the medical and vaccination records of the applicant. The doctor will also perform a mental health evaluation and screen for drugs and alcohol issues. While a failed medical exam can lead to the denial of a green card, there are waives available for some conditions.
Preparing for the Final Interview
The final step in the process involves sitting for an interview. This interview will typically occur at the U.S. embassy in the applicant’s home country. During this interview, a consular officer will review your documentation and ask any questions they might have. Typically, this involves inquiries regarding the applicant’s purpose for entering the United States. At the close of the interview, the consular officer will typically notify the applicant if their application is accepted or denied.
Discuss the Family Visa Application Process with an Attorney
The application process does not have to be stressful or overwhelming for the applicant. With preparation, many of the questions or challenges that might come up could be addressed ahead of time.
It is not in your best interest to approach the family visa application process on your own. Contact an immigration attorney to allow yourself the best opportunity for a successful outcome.