Daytona Beach Immigration Law Attorney
Family Based Immigration
Probably one of the most important immigration issues that one will ever
have to address involves their family members. In the United States, there
are two categories of family immigrant visas and they include immediate
relatives and family preference categories. These categories are covered
under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). For
more detailed information on family immigration, contact a
Daytona Beach immigration law attorney.
Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas (unlimited) are based on close family
relationships with a United States citizen and are described as an immediate
relative or IR and they include:
- IR-1: The spouse of a U.S. citizen
- IR-2: An unmarried child of a U.S. citizen under the age of 21
- IR-3: An orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen
- IR-4: An orphan to be adopted by a U.S. citizen
- IR-5: The parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age
Family Preference Immigrant Visas (limited) are for specific, more distant
relatives of a U.S. citizen, and there are yearly limitations imposed
on family preference immigrants. Family preference categories include:
- Family First Preference (F1): This includes unmarried sons or daughters
of U.S. citizens, along with their minor children.
- Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unwed sons
or daughters above the age of (21) of lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
The majority of these visas will go to spouses and children, with the
remaining going to unmarried sons or daughters.
- Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens,
their spouse and any minor children.
- Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, along
with their spouse and minor children.
Keep in mind that grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins are
not able to sponsor a relative for immigration.
Immigration Petitions, Requirements and Sponsorship
The first step is for the sponsoring relative to file a Petition for Alien
Relative, Form I-130 with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS). In certain situations a U.S. citizen
who is living abroad may be able to file an immigrant visa petition outside
the United States on behalf of their family member.
A U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to file a petition
for their siblings or parents; however, there is not a minimum age requirement
to file a petition for any of the other family based immigrant visas.
The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must be at least 18-years-old
and have a residence in the U.S. before they can sign an Affidavit of
Support, Form I-864 or I-864 EZ, which is required for a spouse or other
relative of a U.S. sponsor.
When the number of qualified applicant visas for "family preference"
exceeds the number of visas available, there is an immigration wait and
the available immigrant
visas will be issued in chronological order. The filing date of the petition
is referred to as the "priority date." In which case, an immigrant
visa cannot be issued until the priority date has been reached. For some,
the waiting period could be as long as several years or more until the
priority date has been reached.
In order for a U.S. citizen or LPR to sponsor a family member, they must
have a principle residence (also called a domicile) in the United States,
which is where they plan to live in the future. In order for a sponsor
to file the Affidavit of Support, they are required to live in the U.S.
with a few exceptions.
Daytona Beach Immigration Lawyer
Under U.S. immigration law, immigrant visa applicants are required to undergo
a medical examination by an authorized panel physician. They are also
required to obtain certain vaccinations prior to receiving their immigrant
visa. The length of time it takes to receive a family preference visa
varies from case to case. What's more, if the applicant doesn't
follow the directions correctly it can cause a delay in the processing.
At Buckmaster & Ellzey, a Daytona Beach immigration law attorney from our firm
can help you streamline the application process. We have helped countless
individuals get their family members in the United States by helping them
with the application process and ensuring that all protocol is properly followed.
For assistance with a family immigrant visa,
contact a Daytona Beach immigration lawyer from the firm without delay!