Tuscaloosa Family Immigration Lawyer
The most common way foreign nationals to permanently and legally immigrate to the United States is with assistance from a family member already living here lawfully. However, as anyone who has dealt with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) in any capacity knows, navigating the maze of forms and legal procedures that govern family-based immigration is far from a simple process, especially if you try to proceed without professional legal guidance.
No matter what specific familial relationship you decide to base your application on, a Tuscaloosa family immigration lawyer could play a central role in boosting the odds of a successful outcome. From initial sponsorship obligations to visa and green card applications, an experienced immigration attorney can provide the assistance you need to keep your future goals intact.
How Does Sponsoring a Family Member for Immigration Work?
Immigrating to the U.S. through a family connection is not just a matter of establishing that a close relative lives here already and putting their name on a visa petition. To obtain a family-based immigrant visa, a foreign national must have their eligible family member act as their sponsor throughout the application process and, most likely, a few years after their petition closes.
Generally speaking, sponsoring a potential immigrant means assuming financial liability, affirmed through an “Affidavit of Support” submitted during the visa application process. The sponsor must begin filling out this document on a prospective immigrant’s behalf and represent them the entire time they remain in the country as a Legal Permanent Resident. Until a foreign national becomes a naturalized citizen, leaves the U.S. permanently, or passes away, their sponsor is responsible for financially supporting them if necessary and reimbursing government agencies for any public benefits collected.
If a potential immigrant has further questions about sponsorship from a family member, a knowledgeable attorney in Tuscaloosa can address a wide range of concerns.
Immediate Relative Permits Versus Family Preference Immigration
Even if a prospective immigrant has a family member willing to act as their sponsor, their path towards lawful residency or visitation could look very different depending on their familial relationship with their sponsor and that sponsor’s immigration status. U.S. citizens over 21 can sponsor their spouse, parents, and unmarried children under 21 for immediate relative immigrant visas, which are given procedural priority and are not subject to yearly restrictions on Green Cards issued by USCIS.
Meanwhile, the processing of family preference visas is considered a lower priority. These permits are also affected by the number of green cards issued annually and are available to specific individuals in the following priority order:
- F1 visas: meant for unmarried people over 21 sponsored by their U.S. citizen parent
- F2A permits: for spouses and children under 21 of a sponsoring U.S. Legal Permanent Resident
- F2B visas: meant for children over 21 of a sponsoring U.S. Legal Permanent Resident
- F3 permits: for married people sponsored by their U.S. citizen parent
- F4 visas: best for siblings of sponsoring U.S. citizens, if said citizen is over 21
Unfortunately, current federal policy establishes that all the other family members of citizens and legal permanent residents are not eligible to seek any kind of family-based immigrant visa. A well-practiced lawyer in Tuscaloosa can assess a family’s situation to determine visa or immigration permit for their unique circumstances.
Contact a Tuscaloosa Family Immigration Attorney Today
Immigrating with sponsorship from a family member is, unfortunately, rarely a simple process. Even if you meet all the prerequisite conditions for this type of visa on paper, complications could still arise. For instance, even one mistake or missing piece of information in any part of your application could lead to lengthy processing delays or an outright rejection, either of which could substantially disrupt your future plans.
Thankfully, a Tuscaloosa family immigration lawyer can provide the guidance and support that you need to fulfill your future needs and goals. Call our office today to get started on your case.