The guidelines that determine whether a family member a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is eligible for a visa can vary. There are different categories of family visas, each with its own requirements.
These categories are important, as an applicant’s priority obtaining a visa can depend on which category they are a part of. An experienced immigration attorney could advise you on the different Huntsville family visa categories. These categories include immediate relative and family preference visas.
Immediate Relative Visas
Immediate relative visas are designed to allow immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to immigrate through the visa application process. This type of visa is often favored as there is no annual limit on the number of immediate relative visas the government will issue.
There are five types of immediate relative visas. Each of these visas corresponds to a specific familial relationship. An IR-1 visa is exclusively for the spouse of a U.S. citizen. A citizen could sponsor their unmarried children under the age of 21 through an IR-2 visa. An IR-3 visa applies to orphan children that U.S. citizens adopt abroad. Alternatively, non-citizen children adopted within the U.S. could qualify for an IR-4. Finally, an IR-5 visa applies to the parent of a U.S. citizen. To qualify for an IR-5, the sponsoring U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old.
An immediate relative family visa could represent the best opportunity for a foreign national to obtain a green card. Given the changing face of immigration policy in the United States, the sooner an immediate relative files for a visa, the more likely they are to be approved.
Family Preference Visas
While family preference visas represent an avenue for foreign nationals to obtain a green card, there are substantial drawbacks with this route compared to immediate relative visas. This is due to the fact that current law requires the federal government to issue a limited number of family preference visas each year. Given the large number of applications, there are many people that will not receive a family preference visa each year even though they qualify.
There are four types of family preference visas. These categories are ranked in preference. The Family First Preference category applies to unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens. The spouses, minor children, or unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents fall into the Family Second Preference group. The Family Third Preference category applies to married children of U.S. citizens as well as their spouses and minor children. Finally, Family Fourth Preference visas are for siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as their spouses and minor children.
Due to the limited number of family preference visas issued each year, it is vital that an applicant ensure they have met every requirement when applying. Missing out on the opportunity to obtain a green card due to a technical error could have lasting consequences. Given the importance of these applications, it is critical that an applicant work closely with an immigration attorney to ensure they comply with all requirements.
Talk to an Attorney about the Categories Huntsville Family Visa Process
If you or your family are considering an application for a family visa, the category you fall into will play an important role in determining your chances of success. If you are a direct relative, your odds are likely better compared to those that fall into the family preference category.
No matter the Huntsville family visa categories you are a member of, the right attorney could represent your best option for obtaining a green card. Schedule a consultation to get started.