Getting Started On Your Family-Based Visa In The United StatesIn this article, you will discover:

  • What family-based visas in the United States are.
  • Eligibility requirements for family-based visas.
  • Common reasons family-based visas are denied.

What Are Family-Based Visas In The United States?

The United States bases its immigration system upon family reunification. There are different levels of priority, the highest being immediate relatives, which includes parents, minor children and spouses of U.S. citizens. The United States does not put a limit on the number of people of this classification that can immigrate into the country in a given year.

Not everyone has an immediate U.S. citizen relative, however. These individuals fall under the family preference system which consists of four categories:

  1. Adult (unmarried) children of U.S. citizens.
  2. Adult OR minor children of lawful permanent residents.
  3. Married children of a U.S. citizen.
  4. Siblings of a U.S. citizen.

What Are Eligibility Requirements To Apply For A Family-Based Visa?

There are a few requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for a family-based visa in the United States. They vary based on a few circumstances.

The first requirement is a qualifying family relationship. If you are a U.S. citizen and you want to bring your foreign national spouse or children to the United States, immigration authorities will want to see that you actually have the relationship with the individuals immigrating that you claim to.

Immigration authorities will want proof of your marriage, namely that it was entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of immigration. If immigrating a child into the country, they will want to see that you are actually the parent. They will require things like the child’s birth certificate and demonstration that you have meaningfully been involved in their life.

For siblings, authorities will require you to document the family relationship and verify that you are their sibling. You may need a paternity or DNA test to establish the relationship if you are half-siblings.

What Constitutes “Family” When It Comes To Family-Based Visas Or Family-Based Immigration?

In the eyes of immigration authorities, “family” comes down to two things in regards to family-based visas in the United States:

  1. Documenting the family relationship.
  2. Being admissible into the United States.

Some people are married to or have children who are U.S. citizens. Despite this, they can be inadmissible for one reason or another, possibly criminal or past immigration violations.

Who Is Eligible To Be A Sponsor For A Family-Based Visa Or Green Card?

Eligibility to sponsor an individual’s family-based visa or green card is not terribly involved. If you are a U.S. citizen and want to bring your parents, siblings, or children to the United States, your relationship with them has to be established to start the process.

Beyond this, you need to be able to support the person or people you are sponsoring financially. You would need to consult a table that immigration authorities have, a tool that helps you determine details pertaining to this. You would first count the number of people in your family, then add the people you will sponsor. From this, you can determine if you can support the people you are sponsoring. If this is not the case, you will need a co-sponsor in order to complete the process successfully.

Can My Family Member Come To The United States To Live While Their Visa Petition Is Pending?

Whether your family member can come to the United States while their visa is pending depends on the specific situation. Some people already in the country can stay while a family petition is pending. Others who are not eligible to enter the United States must wait most of the time in their home country or anywhere outside the United States while their petition is pending.

What Is The Process Of Obtaining A Family-Based Visa In The United States?

The process of obtaining a family-based visa for entry into the United States is generally relatively long, drawn-out, and complicated despite supposedly being designed for regular people. Depending on the country you are emigrating from, it could be at least a year-long wait before the embassy interview or receiving your green card.

If you miss a deadline or a relative you are sponsoring turns 21 and ages out, there can be severe consequences. There are a lot of forms, as well as dealing with the federal bureaucracy. A lawyer truly can be of significant help to you in this process.

What Are Common Reasons Family-Based Visa Applications Are Denied?

We have found the following to be the most common reasons why family-based visas in the United States are denied:

  • Immigration violations: If the person entered unlawfully and stayed for a long time, they need a waiver before their application can be granted. These are commonly referred to as pardons or forgiveness. People in these situations will need to apply for one in order to be granted entry into the country.
  • Medical reasons: Some people are inadmissible for medical reasons such as having a contagious disease that has not been treated or controlled, which can potentially burden the United States and make them inadmissible.
  • Criminal violations: Having an arrest history can make you inadmissible, especially if it is recent.
  • Financial support: A sponsor not meeting the financial requirements to support the potential immigrant is another reason, especially when they cannot find a co-sponsor.
  • Invalid marriage: The consulate finding that a marriage is not valid or that a couple married to immigrate the foreign national spouse is sure to be grounds for denying a petition.

Can I Appeal A Denial Of My Petition For A Family-Based Visa?

Technically speaking, when someone applies for a visa abroad, there is no appeal. Instead, an attorney can submit an argument and explanation to the consulate. They will likely review the case and may overturn decisions. However, this is more of an informal process than a typical court procedure.

If a visa is denied, there’s often no need to appeal. Rather, you have to apply for a waiver. If authorities tell you that you spent too much time in the U.S. out of status, you have to wait for a certain period before reapplying or applying for a waiver.

For more information on Family-Based Visas In The United States, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (626) 900-1714 today.

The Law Office Of Eloy Aguirre

Call Now To Get Help With Your Citizenship:
(626) 900-1714

Translate »
Accessibility Accessibility
× Accessibility Menu CTRL+U