Applying for Immediate Relative Visas in Fairfax

Applying for immediate relative visas in Fairfax is a long process involving many different steps. Simple errors can cause huge problems for the prospective immigrant, including delays or even rejections.

If you need help applying for a visa, speak with a detail-oriented immigration attorney today. A lawyer understands how to build a successful application, and they could guide you through each step in the process.

Applying for Permanent Resident Status While Inside the U.S.

There are two different ways an immediate relative can apply for a permanent resident status. If the Beneficiary has an immediate relative who is in the U.S., then the petitioning family member would be able to file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relatives). If the intending immigrant beneficiary is in the U.S. they can concurrently file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status) with the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Service).

In order to file concurrently Forms I-130 and I-485, the intending immigrant Beneficiary must have been inspected and admitted to the U.S. or inspected and paroled into the United States. The Beneficiary must be physically present in the United States at the time of the filing of Form I-485. Next, the family relationship has to exist at the time of filing Forms I-130 and I-485. For example, if the beneficiary and the petitioner are spouses, the couple must be legally married at the time of the filing, not just fiancés intending to marry.

How Criminal or Immigration Violations Affect an Application

If the intending immigrant has previous violations (either criminal or immigration), they may have to file a waiver for those issues which may make them inadmissible to the U.S. That waiver consists of filing Form I-601 (Application for a Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility) along with the I-485 Application. After filing the I-485, the intending immigrant must wait for an interview or an Approval Notice for the I-130 and the I-485, typically by mail.

If an interview is required, it may depend on the type of relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. Spouses are usually interviewed, but not always, and it is less likely for children to be interviewed.

What if the Beneficiary is Outside of the U.S.?

If the beneficiary is outside of the U.S., the process starts the same by the Petitioner filing Form I-130 on behalf of the beneficiary immigrant. Because the beneficiary is not present in the U.S., however, they cannot file the I-485 at the same time.

If they are overseas, Form I-130 has to be approved before the process continues. If the beneficiary is a spouse of a U.S. citizen, they can apply for a K-3 Visa while the I-130 is pending to permit the beneficiary to enter the U.S. before the I-130 approval and file the I-485 to adjust. If the immigrant remains abroad, then after the I-130 approval, USCIS contacts the National Visa Center (NVC) and informs the National Visa Center that the I-130 has been approved for that Beneficiary.

Next Steps After I-130 Approval

At this juncture, the petitioner and the Beneficiary are contacted with instructions on how to proceed with the application, the payment of any fees, and completing the Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260). Once all fees have been paid and all applications have been filed, the NVC holds on to the packet until the interview is scheduled at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

After the interview, the Beneficiary waits for a decision on the Immigrant Visa Application. How long they wait is contingent upon background checks and processing times, which vary from case to case. Once the visa is approved, the beneficiary will receive their passport with a U.S. visa and a sealed packet containing the beneficiary’s supporting evidence. That packet must remain sealed until an immigration officer at the port of entry opens it.

Entering the United States

After the beneficiary receives the passport with the visa, but before they depart to the United States, they must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee that is used to produce the physical Green Card (the lawful permanent resident card). After the fee is paid, the Beneficiary can travel to the U.S. with the passport and the sealed documents. It is important to note that the Beneficiary has to enter the United States before the expiration date of the visa, which is typically around six months after the interview.

Prior to entering the United States, the intending immigrant beneficiary only has an Immigrant Visa and not a Green Card. They do not have lawful permanent resident status. However, once they are admitted into the U.S., they will receive their Green Card at the U.S. address provided during the interview process.

Let a Qualified Immigration Attorney Help With Your Application

If you need help applying for immediate relative visas in Fairfax, a qualified immigration lawyer could help. An attorney understands the impact receiving a visa could have on your life, and they could work tirelessly to ensure your application is successful. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Applying for Immediate Relative Visas in Fairfax

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