Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas in Prince William County

Coming the U.S. requires help from family members and an experienced attorney. If a relative qualifies as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, they may be able to obtain a visa based on their familial relationship with their relative. However, it is recommended to speak with a lawyer about immediate relative immigrant visas in Prince William County before taking action. To begin discussing the details of you and your relative’s circumstances, schedule a consultation today.

How to Apply for an Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa

An immediate relative is either the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the child under 21 years old of the U.S. citizen, or if the U.S. citizen is over 21 years old, the parents of that U.S. citizen.

If the immediate relative is inside of the United States and entered with lawful status, the U.S. citizen can submit form I-130, the petition for their immigrant relative. This petition lets the U.S. government know that they have a family member who wants to obtain lawful permanent resident status (a Green Card).  If the relative is in the U.S. and entered lawfully, then at the same time they can submit the Form I-485, which is the green card application. However, if the immediate relative is outside of the United States, their U.S. citizen family member will submit from I-130, but once the I-130 is approved the case will be forwarded to the National Visa Center for scheduling an interview with the intending immigrant at a U.S. Embassy abroad.

Expected Roadblocks When Legalizing a Family Member’s Stay

Some of the roadblocks that people face is the inability to demonstrate a family relationship. If they need to demonstrate that they are a U.S. citizen and that they are trying to petition for a spouse, they will need to present a marriage certificate. They will be required to provide evidence of the bona fides of that relationship, proof that the marriage is legitimate and not for immigration purposes. This type of evidence includes providing evidence of cohabitation and joint financial obligations. If those pieces of evidence are missing in the filing of the I-130, USCIS can presume that it is a sham marriage, and the intending immigrant can be denied the adjustment of status.

People often encounter the roadblock of not knowing who is an immediate relative and who is not. Since people who are not immediate relatives cannot usually apply for a Green Card right away and must usually wait until a visa becomes available for them this important distinction between immediate relatives and those who fall under the family preference category is very important. If a visa is not immediately available for someone who falls under the family preference category, and that family member is not able to remain lawfully in the United States,  then they will have to return and wait for a visa to become available for them to immigrate.

Expected Time to Obtain Legal Status

The wait time heavily depends on where the intending immigrant is located. If the applicant is inside of the United States and entered lawfully, then upon the filing of the I-130 and the I-485 together, the process can take anywhere between 10 to 12 months under fast processing times. However, this wait time can be longer due to COVID-19.

If the intending immigrant is abroad, then they must wait for the I-130 to be approved. The processing time really depends on the family relationship. Sometimes it takes USCIS less time to decide they are going to approve an I-130 by a U.S. citizen filing for their minor child who is living abroad versus a marriage. USCIS will likely take a closer look to see if the marriage is a sham, making the processing times longer than expected.

Schedule a Consultation Today to Learn More

If you have an immediate relative seeking to come to the United States, you should speak with an attorney about immediate relative immigrant visas in Prince William County. A lawyer can review the relationship between you and the intending immigrant and inform you of their eligibility to obtain an immediate relative immigrant visa and what you and your family need to do in order to ensure that an application is successful. To learn more, get in touch with our law offices today.

Prince William County Family Immigration Lawyer