Immediate Relative Visas in Montgomery County

Immediate relative visas in Montgomery County can be a means to bring families together in the United States. Those that qualify as immediate relatives are spouses of United States citizens and their unmarried children under the age of 21 years old. That also includes adopted children and the parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old.

A successful visa application requires extreme attention to detail over many steps. Because even a simple mistake can lead to a denial, intending immigrants and family members should reach out to a qualified attorney for help with their case. An experienced immigration lawyer could guide you through each step in the process and ensure your applications are complete.

How to Apply for Permanent Resident Status

An immediate relative applies for permanent resident status by having the petitioner, who is the U.S. citizen, file a Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative. The intending immigrant who is an immediate relative is known as the beneficiary. If the beneficiary is in the U.S. and has a lawful admission, the petitioner can file the Form I-130 and the beneficiary can, at the same time, file the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident Status with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If they are outside of the U.S., then the beneficiary will have the petitioner file the Form I-130. They will have to wait for their Form I-130 to be approved before going on to the next step the filing of the DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application.

Processing Time

For an immediate relative to obtain permanent resident status, the processing time varies. A person would be able to check what the current processing time is for each location at uscis.gov. Once Form I-130 and I-485 are filed, the applicant receives a receipt.  A person will be able to go to uscis.gov, put in the receipt number, and see what the current processing time is.

How to Help Family Members Legalize Their Stay

People can help family members to legalize their stay by first determining their status and their relationship to the beneficiary. Whether the beneficiary is an immediate relative will affect whether that family member can remain in the U.S. Then, a person must focus on how their family member entered the U.S.

If they entered under a tourist visa, they can stay in the country up to six months. If they entered under a different visa, then they can remain in the country as long as they maintain their status. If a person simply wants to prolong their stay, then they can do an extension of status by filing a Form I-539.

However, if they entered the U.S. under a visitor’s visa, an immediate relative would have to file a petition for them so they would be permitted in this country. If they were inspected at the border, they would be able to file Form I-130 and the Form I-485 to file for adjustment immediately.

Potential Roadblocks

The most common roadblocks a family may face when legalizing the stay of an immediate relative is when the relatives enter the U.S. without inspection. That means that they might have crossed a border to enter the U.S. or did not show a valid visa to Customs and Border Patrol.  If they violated immigration laws prior to them trying to legalize their stay, or if there are grounds of inadmissibility, such as security-related, health-related, or criminal-related grounds, that could be a roadblock as well.

Precautions to Ensure a Successful Application

There are multiple precautions that someone can take to ensure their immediate relative visas do not get denied. First and foremost, a person must make sure the information that the petitioner is putting on the application is correct. If there is something as simple as the wrong date of birth, a name misspelling, or failure to include other family members that are beneficiaries, that can either delay the petition or lead to denial.

Another reason these kinds of visas get denied is because the petitioner and the beneficiary do not provide all the documents that USCIS is requesting. It is important to make sure that any document the government requests is submitted, and if it cannot be submitted, there needs to be a reason why. The applicants must also meet all deadlines. If the applicants do not submit documentation by that date, the petition will be denied.

Documents also must be in English or accompanied by an English translation, or it is possible that USCIS might deny them.

Steps After Approval

Once the family member’s application is approved, they must wait for the approval notice of the Form I-485 and the Green Card itself. But if Form I-130 and I-485 were not submitted concurrently and only the I-130 was filed, then the Form I-485 or the Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) should be filed by the beneficiary. Once that is submitted, they must wait for an interview notice or an approval notice. The applicant will then be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country that they are located in or at their local USCIS office (if present in the U.S.).

Once the immigrant visa application is approved, then the beneficiary will have to enter the U.S. within a period of time in which their visa is valid. However, once the beneficiary enters the U.S., a Green Card will be sent to the address they provided in their immigrant visa application.

Reach Out to an Experienced Immigration Attorney

If you are seeking immediate relative visas in Montgomery County, you could benefit from the services of a skilled immigration attorney. The visa process is complex, but a lawyer could explain every step in the process and help you build a successful application. Call today to discuss your case and begin the process of reuniting your family.

Immediate Relative Visas in Montgomery County