Family based immigrant visas

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2019 | Blog |


There are two principal groups of family based immigrant visa categories for immediate family relatives and family categories. The immediate relative immigrant visa which does not have a limited annual fiscal year quota, are based on close family relationship with a U.S. citizen.

The second group which does have quota limitations are for relationships with a lawful Permanent Resident or more distant relationships with a U.S. citizen.

Speaking with an experienced and skilled immigration attorney is the first step when dealing with any immigration issue. It is also important that you are able to speak with an actual attorney who is authorized and experienced in handling cases like these before the pertinent agencies.

Requesting a family member in either of these two categories may seem straightforward but each has specific requirements, whether you are claiming a spouse, child, parent, fiancé(e) or a parent.

For Immediate Relative Immigrant visas, for a close family relationship with a U.S citizen, first the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the immigrant visa petition or Form 1-130. The U.S citizen must fill out the form on behalf of the foreign-born relative accompanied by proof of the relationship and any other supporting documentation.

The close relationships covered by this visa are:

Spouses of a U.S. citizen

Unmarried children under the age of 21

Orphans adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen or an orphan to be adopted in the U.S.

Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old

For Family Preference Immigrant visas which have a fiscal year limitations are for more distant relationships with a U.S. citizen or in some specified relationships with a Permanent Resident. This category does not apply to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or in-laws and cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.

These family preference categories are:

Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

Spouses, minor children, unmarried sons and daughters age 21 and over of legal Permanent Residents

Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and minor children

Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children

Once USCIS has approved Form I-130, the next step is for the Department of State to determine if an immigrant visa number is available for the foreign national. If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the available visas, these will be issued in a chronological order based on the date the petition was filed. This is called the priority date and visas cannot be issued until that date.

The State Bar of Texas website can verify if an individual is licensed to practice law by the State of Texas. Our attorneys are fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, Portuguese .

An experienced attorney authorized to practice immigration law in Dallas, throughout Texas, can assure that your case moves forward as quickly as possible and is handled correctly.

Speaking with an experienced immigration attorney in your own language, who is able to give you legal advice, is the first step when dealing with any immigration issue.