There are many situations where the family members of U.S. citizens or green card holders might want to immigrate to the United States. Thankfully, these individuals can often apply for a family preference visa, which entitles them to a Green Card. Green Card holders can legally work in the United States, sponsor other family members for immigration, and apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
If you believe you have a family member who can sponsor you for a family preference visa in Tuscaloosa, you should contact a local attorney right away. A skilled family immigration attorney could help you navigate the complex process of applying for this impactful permit.
Immediate family members of U.S. citizens, such as spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 can apply for a Green Card under the Immediate Family category. However, any other family members of U.S. citizens or green card holders must apply for a family preference visa.
There are different categories of preference visas for family members, including:
A Tuscaloosa attorney could help a citizen or green card holder determine which visa preference category would apply to their family member.
It is also important to understand that a limited number of visas in each category become available each year. For instance, someone in the F4 category will likely wait more years for a family preference visa than someone in the F1 category.
Sometimes, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies a Green Card to a person who qualifies for one based on their family relationship. These denials are usually based around certain criteria that make a foreign national ineligible to enter the U.S. For instance, regulations established in 8 United States Code §1182 describe some categories of aliens that are ineligible to enter the U.S. Common reasons for a denial might include:
There are a handful of factors that might disqualify a potential immigrant from entering the United States. First, a foreign national seeking a family preference visa could be barred from entry for health concerns if they have an infectious disease, cannot show proof of vaccination, or suffer from addiction or mental health problems. Additionally, some criminal convictions could disqualify an applicant from obtaining a family preference permit. In either case, there might be steps that a skilled attorney in Tuscaloosa could take to alleviate the disqualification and keep a family preference visa application on track.
People suspected of threatening national security might also be denied a family green card. For example, any prior involvement with a known terrorist organization or group that supports political violence could disqualify an applicant. Overturning a disqualification on national security grounds is typically quite challenging.
Meanwhile, anyone who entered the US without inspection at an official border crossing is ineligible for a family preference visa. Prior immigration violations, such as deportations or illegal entry, could even disqualify an applicant. However, in some cases, these violations only delay an applicant’s eligibility. In these scenarios, a family preference applicant could obtain a waiver that forgives their prior immigration action. A knowledgeable legal representative could help determine whether a waiver is an option for someone seeking a family preference visa.
Sometimes a mistake on an application, errors with supporting documents, or failing to provide complete information causes a rejection. Even the most minor errors could lead to USCIS denying someone’s application.
For family preference visas, including clear proof of the familial relationship in question is essential. Demonstrating this relationship could be challenging for a foreign national who pursues an adoptive relationship or cannot track down a birth/marriage certificate. Thankfully, a Tuscaloosa attorney understands this and could help a family preference visa applicant track down the evidence they need to establish a familial relationship. Legal representation could also help foreign nationals resubmit a corrected version of their previous application.
Reuniting families is a priority for the U.S. government, but that does not mean that getting a Green Card on family preference grounds is quick or easy. Getting a family preference visa is complicated, and there are many stages where unexpected issues could arise.
Fortunately, our hardworking and experienced team could help you and your family member complete the necessary documentation. An attorney could explain the procedure and likely timeframes for each stage of the process, making it less stressful for you to obtain a family preference visa in Tuscaloosa. Schedule a consultation today to get started.