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Are you or a relative seeking to emigrate to the U.S. with a family-based visa? If so, you can expect many challenges along the journey. Obtaining a family-based visa requires accurate form completion, an understanding of U.S. immigration laws and lots of patience.
Our LA immigration lawyers understand the family-based immigration process. We are prepared to help you become a lawful permanent resident, and eventually, a citizen of the U.S.
The attorneys at Best Immigration Lawyer are skilled, experienced, and compassionate. If you seek entrance into the U.S. with a family-based visa, don’t risk unnecessary delays or denials. Work with an LA family-based immigration lawyer you can trust. Your future depends upon it.What is Family-Based Immigration?
Accounting for more than 65% of all immigrants, family-based immigration is the most common form of immigration to the U.S. Generally, citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can sponsor specific family members. Qualifying sponsored relatives can gain permanent residency, and potentially, citizenship.Who is Eligible For Family-Based Immigration in LA?
There are strict eligibility requirements for all family-based visas. The two kinds of family visas include Immediate Relatives and Family-preference categories. Each category offers its own benefits, restrictions, and requirements. If you have questions about which family visa type you should apply for, it’s in your best interest to consult with a proven LA immigration lawyer.Immediate Relatives
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens in Los Angeles can become lawful permanent residents (obtain a green card) based on their familial relationship. However, you must meet certain criteria to qualify. For immigration purposes, you are considered an immediate relative if you are:
- A husband or wife of a U.S. citizen
- The child of a U.S. citizen who is unmarried and under 21
- The parents of a U.S. citizen who is older than 21
There are no limitations on the number of immediate relative visas issued each fiscal year.
In some cases, immediate relatives can petition to adjust their immigration status while in the U.S. to a family-based visa. However, certain restrictions apply.Preferential Family-Based Immigration
If you’re not a spouse, minor child, or parent of a qualifying relative, then you may be eligible for the following family preference categories:
- First Preference (F1): unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are over 21
- Second Preference (F2A): husbands, wives, and children (under 21 and not married) of green card holders
- Second preference (F2B): unmarried children (over 21) of green card holders
- Third preference (F3): married adult children of U.S. citizens
- Fourth Preference (F4): siblings of U.S. citizens, so long as the U.S. citizen is 21 or older
In addition to the specific criteria that family-based immigrants must meet, applicants must also meet all other requirements for sponsorship to the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. government only issues 480,000 family preference visas each fiscal year.
That means that your argument for coming to the U.S. must be convincing to stand out from the millions of other applications.
Working with a skilled family-based immigration lawyer in LA can help to ensure that your application isn’t unnecessarily delayed or denied.How Long Will it Take to Get a Family-Based Visa in Los Angeles?
How long it takes to process a family visa depends on if you are an immediate relative, your family preference category, your home country, and many other unique factors.
If you’re an immediate family member of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (in some cases), your application can be processed in 6 to 12 months. Since the number of immediate relative visas isn’t capped, this process is drastically faster than the wait for family preference visas.
The waiting period for a family preference visa can range from a few years to decades. Each category allows a specific number of family members each fiscal year.
Additionally, no country can make up more than 7% of the total family-based visas issued. That means applicants from certain countries can wait for 10 to 25 years for their family preference visa to be processed.