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American Family Visa Application: USA Visa, Family-Based Immigration & Requirements

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Do you live and work in USA? living in USA as a permanent residents offers you with good opportunities and benefits to enjoy in the country even as you work in any company or organization, therefore one of the benefits you can get as a permanent worker resident is to be able to seek for an American family visa application for your family members to join you. This is one of the things ,most workers enjoy and would like their family members to come to one of the best countries of the world.

american family visa application

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have family members living outside the United States can file petitions to help them immigrate.

So when this people are through with that, they will receive a U.S. immigrant visa, which leads to a green card, or lawful permanent residence.

A foreign citizen seeking to live permanently in the United States requires an immigrant visa and the sponsor must be at least 21 years of age. This qualifies him to be either a U.S. citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (that is, a green-card holder).

Two Types of Family-Based Immigrant Visas

Immediate Relative – These visas are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, child or parent. The number of immigrants in these categories is not limited yearly.

Family Preference – These visas are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). The number of immigrants in these categories is limited yearly.

U.S. citizens can file an immigrant visa petition for their:

  • Spouse
  • Parent
  • Son or daughter
  • Brother or sister

Also, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can only file an immigrant visa petition for their:

• Spouse
• Unmarried son or daughter

What Are Family Based Petitions?

Family Based Petitions allow for individuals in the United States to sponsor their family to immigrate to the States.

Immigration and Nationality Act allows for the immigration of foreigners to the United States based on a relationship to a U.S. citizen.

As we know, two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories:

Immediate Relative and Family Preference.

1. Visa available for Immediate Relative

These visa types available for this section:

  • IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old

2. Family Preference (American Family Visa Application)

The visa types are for this section are specific, more distant, family relationships:

  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any.
  • The Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs.
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
  • The Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age.

NOTE: There are unlimited visas available in the Immediate Relative group, however there are few amount of Family Preference visas available annually.

Limitations to Family visa green cards

Looking at this angle, there are limitations for these permits, and visas are usually issued in chronological order.

You may need to wait several months or years before being approved, and having your application processed.

Can a U.S. Citizen Sponsor a Family Member? (American Family Visa Application)

If you are a U.S. Citizen, you will have the opportunity for the following relatives:

  • Unmarried son or daughter over 21 years old;
  • Married son or daughter of any age;
  • Husband or wife;
  • Unmarried children under 21 years old;
  • Brother (s) or Sisters(s), if you are at least 21 years old.
  • Mother or father, if you are at least 21 years old

NOTE: You should be able to prove your relation with the set of people, it can be through some documents etc.

Family visa processing Time

On average, the I-130 (family sponsorship visa) filed by your sponsor takes between 6 to 12 months to be processed.

USCIS processes the petition on a first-come, first-served basis, you can speed up this process by submitting the form as early as possible.

The US Immigration Info Guideline (American Family Visa Application)

Individuals who are related to a U.S citizen or lawful permanent residents in the United States may be able to join them in the country.

This can be done easily by using one of the U.S family visa categories, there are both immigrant and non-immigrant U.S family visas available.

Therefore, to be eligible for an immigrant visa a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the US must petition for you to join them. 

An immigrant visa, also referred to as a Green Card will allow you to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

However, all applicants should know that the application process often takes a long time but be ready with the right documents. 

Family members for a Green Card Visa

Family members eligible to apply for a Green Card are described below:

In Essence below are the details

  • First preference (F1) – unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens. To be eligible under this classification, the beneficiary must be “unmarried” when the petition is filed, and remain so until receiving the green card.
  • Second preference (F2) – spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents. Children who are either divorced or widowed are considered “unmarried”, hence, eligible under this classification. Those children who are 21 or over fall into a subcategory called 2B; they typically wait longer than other second preference relatives, who are in a subcategory called 2A.
  • Third preference (F3) – married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. If a beneficiary obtains a good-faith divorce during the long years of waiting for the visa, he or she will become eligible for an immigrant visa as an F1.
  • Fourth preference (F4) – brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older). Half-brothers and half-sisters as well as adoptive siblings are eligible under this category.

Steps to Applying for a US Family Visa (American Family Visa Application)

There are specific steps to follow in order for a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident to successfully sponsor a family member. These are:

1: Filing the Petition

To begin the sponsorship process, the U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident family member will need to mail a visa petition on USCIS Form I-130.

It will come along with accompanying documents, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The LRP must prove the family relationship is real.

2: USCIS Makes a Decision

Once USCIS receives the petition, the officers will consider whether to approve or deny the request. If approved, the case file will be forwarded to the National Visa Center for further processing.

If denied, it is possible for the petitioner to file a new petition after determining what changes need to be made to encourage an approval.

Upon approval, USCIS will forward the immigrant’s case file to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

3: Preference Relatives Wait for Visa Availability

This step only takes place if the petitioner was in the Family Preference group. Relatives that are not considered “immediate” are not eligible for permanent residence right away, as there are annual limits on the number of Green Cards.

Thus, the immigrant joins a waiting list, and will usually wait at least a year before learning if a visa is available.

4: Immigrant Applies for Visa or Green Card

If the petition is approve, and a visa has become available, the immigrant would then submit an application for permanent residence.

This is usually done by applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate outside the United States, and then once in the states, the immigrant would apply for the Green Card.

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