Immediate Relative Visas in Alexandria

Those who qualify as immediate relatives for visas are spouses of U.S. citizens born or naturalized. Immediate relatives also include unmarried children under the age of 21 and the parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old.

If you are seeking a visa for a relative, reach out to a seasoned family immigration attorney. An accomplished lawyer who is knowledgeable about immediate relative visas in Alexandria could help you.

Applying for Permanent Residence Status

If the immediate relative is in the United States and wants to apply for permanent residence status, the petitioning U.S. citizen can submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At the same time, the relative can submit Form I-485 to register as a permanent resident or adjust their status with the USCIS.

The relative’s eligibility to qualify for permanent resident status depends not only on their physical presence in the U.S., but hinges on whether the immediate relative has been inspected, admitted, or paroled into the United States. In other words, there has to be a lawful admission to be eligible to adjust. In addition, the relationship between the relative and the U.S. citizen must exist at the time the petitioner submits the application. For example, if the U.S. citizen is petitioning for their spouse, they must be married at the time of the application and not after. Lastly, when considering applying for adjustment, the relative must consider whether there will be anything that will prevent the immediate relative from adjusting, such as a violation of criminal laws or immigration violations. If there is a violation, the immediate relative will have to submit a waiver of the grounds for inadmissibility, if such a waiver is available to them when applying for an immediate relative visa in Alexandria.

Interview Process

After the U.S. citizen and the relative submit their applications (I-130 and I-485, respectively), they will have to wait for an interview or an approval notice from the USCIS. Whether an interview is required depends on whether the USCIS wants to meet with the petitioner and beneficiary and sometimes it may depend on the relationship between the relative and the petitioner. For instance, if the couple was recently married, they may be more likely to be scheduled for an interview as opposed to a mother petitioning for her minor child. The aforementioned process applies to the relatives who are present in the U.S., but if the immediate relative is outside of the United States, different steps have to be taken.

Steps to Take for a Family Member to Get a Visa

All the steps begin with the petitioner submitting the Form I-130 on behalf of the beneficiary who is the immediate relative. The beneficiary will have to wait for the I-130 to be approved before any further steps can be taken. If the intending immigrant is a spouse married to a U.S. citizen, a K-3 Visa can be submitted while the Form I-130 is pending with no decision yet made. A K-3 visa permits the immediate relative permits entry before the I-130 is approved to allow them to submit an adjustment application rather than continuing with the consular process. After the foreign spouse enters the United States on a K-3 visa, they will be able to submit the Form I-485 and adjust.

However, if the intending immigrant beneficiary is an immediate relative and remains abroad, then after the I-130 has been approved, USCIS contacts the National Visa Center (NVC), which in turn reaches out to the petitioner and the beneficiary with instructions on how to submit the DS-260. After the visa application, fees, and supporting documents have been submitted with the NVC, the beneficiary is scheduled for an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country in which they reside or the one closest to them. After the interview, the beneficiary will have to wait until a decision is made. If the immigrant visa is approved, the beneficiary will get a U.S. visa on their passport, typically good for approximately six months.

Call a lawyer today for more information about immediate relative visas in Alexandria.