What An Immigration Lawyer Wants You To Know About Family Immigration


For U.S. citizens who want to bring one or more family members from other countries to live with them in the United States, the first thing to do is to see an immigration lawyer in the Lewisville area. As with every other area of U.S. immigration law, the laws relating to family immigration are complicated and it can be hard for the average person to understand that there are many steps, often time-consuming steps, involved in bringing someone to live in the United States. If you are a U.S. citizen seeking to bring a loved one to the U.S., here are some basic things you need to know:

You May Petition for Immediate Relatives and Other Family Members

As a U.S. citizen, you may petition for immigration for immediate relatives and other family members, but only immediate relatives receive visas without waiting in line. Other family members are grouped into preference categories for which there are a limited annual number of visas.

Immediate relatives include:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Children (unmarried and under age 21) of U.S. citizens
  • Parents of U.S. citizens, providing the petitioners are over 21 years of age

Other family members include:

  • Children (unmarried and over the age of 21) of U.S. citizens
  • Children (married and any age) of U.S. citizens
  • Siblings of adult U.S. citizens
  • Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of green cardholders
  • Children (unmarried and over the age of 21) of green cardholders

How the Process of Family Immigration Begins

How the process of immigration begins depends on whether or not your relative is already in the U.S. If your family member is already in the U.S. and a visa number becomes available, they can apply to become a green card holder using Form I-485. If they reside outside of the U.S., your petition will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). Once a visa number becomes available, the NVC will tell your relative what the next steps are. After all applications are received by the NVC they will forward the case to your consulate or embassy for an interview.

The Wait Time for Processing Petitions Varies

The wait time for processing immigration petitions varies, depending on the category the person being petitioned for falls into. The process for immediate relatives takes less time than for other family members. Generally, cases are processed in the order in which they are received. For more detailed information on processing wait times, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) website.

An Immigration Lawyer Can Help With the Process of Family Immigration

Immigration lawyers in the Lewisville area can help make the process of family immigration go more smoothly. Not only can a lawyer explain which relatives you can petition for, but he can also explain the forms you need to fill out, tell you about any supporting documents you may need, keep you informed about the time it takes to process your petition, and help with any complications that arise.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you want to petition to bring a relative to live in the U.S. and you need an immigration lawyer in the Lewisville area, call The Law Office of Nathan Christensen PC at F:P:Site:Phone}. You can also visit www.immigrationlawyerdallastx.com to learn more about U.S. immigration.

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