Immediate Relative Visas in Fairfax

Many U.S. citizens have family members still living outside of the country. Thankfully, immediate relative visas in Fairfax can be used to bring families back together. The specific forms and applications required can be complex for someone unfamiliar with immigration law, but a dedicated immigration lawyer could help

If you would like your family to join you in the United States, contact a family immigration attorney today. An attorney could help you prepare an effective application and guide you through every step of the immigration process.

Who Qualifies as an Immediate Relative?

Only specific individuals qualify as immediate relatives under U.S. law. Immediate relatives include:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens
  • Adopted children of U.S. citizens
  • Parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old

Immigrating While Visiting the United States

If an immediate family member is already present in the U.S. and decides that they want to stay, they can stay if they are legally eligible to file Forms I-130 and I-485 concurrently. This includes whether the immediate family member has entered with the appropriate visa and with the appropriate intent. It is important to note that if an immediate family member visits the United States under a tourist visa and decides to stay, an immigration officer conducting an adjustment interview can ask whether they possessed immigrant intent at the time they entered the U.S. as a visitor. An officer would ask this because when someone comes under a B-1 or B-2 Visa, the sole purpose is to visit; it is strictly for non-immigrant purposes.

Immigrant Intent

If someone enters the U.S. with a visitor’s visa while knowing the whole time that they intend to stay, then they possess immigrant intent which is a violation of immigration laws. It is known as a “misrepresentation”, and misrepresentations require a waiver of inadmissibility. It is also important to note that waivers are not available for all intending immigrants.

Possessing immigrant intent versus non-immigrant intent is an issue best handled by an attorney who could see if a waiver is available. They must also acknowledge any immigration or criminal inadmissibility issues and file a waiver along with the I-485 Application.

If for any reason the immediate family member is not able to adjust – for example, due to the manner of entering the United States – they can still have the U.S. citizen family member submit Form I-130 on their behalf. However, the Beneficiary must keep in mind that filing the Form I-130 by itself does not grant status to remain in the U.S. It is always best to consult with an immigration attorney to make sure that things are done correctly and to make sure that if there are any roadblocks, they can be addressed in a timely fashion.

How to Help Family Members Immigrate

A U.S. citizen will have to determine whether that family member is an immediate relative or falls into the family preference category. The difference being that an immediate relative can immediately apply for adjustment, while a family member who falls under a preference category must wait before doing so.

Another factor to consider is how that beneficiary entered the U.S. If they entered with a B-1 or B-2 Visitor’s Visa, they are usually allowed to stay in the U.S. up to six months and can apply for an extension of that stay. If they entered with another visa, such as an F-1 Student Visa, then they are allowed to remain in the U.S. for as long as they maintain their student status. The U.S. citizen would want to make sure that their family member legalizes their stay for the purposes for which they desire to stay.

Temporary Stays

If the family member only wants to stay for a few more months to help family members or receive medical treatment, then they can file an extension of status by filing Form I-539, which would allow that family member additional time after the expiration of their current stay. However, if the family member entered the U.S. with a visitor’s visa and wants to become a lawful permanent resident, they will have to be an immediate relative of the U.S. citizen to have the visa available immediately to them. If the prospective immigrant is not an immediate family member, they will have to go abroad until a visa is available for that particular family preference category or change to another non-immigrant status while they wait for their visa to become current.

Speaking With a Fairfax Family Immigration Attorney

If you are seeking immediate relative visas in Fairfax, consult with a Fairfax family immigration attorney for help. An experienced immigration lawyer has an in-depth understanding of the law, and they could work to make sure your applications are thorough. They could also help you or your family complete any necessary waivers or appeals. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Immediate Relative Visas in Fairfax

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