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For the sake of keeping extended family members together, U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for other family members to come to the United States. Even if a relative does not meet the definition of an immediate relative, he or she may qualify for one of the other family-based preference categories. It does not matter if the family member is living in the U.S. currently, or is still living overseas.
However, unlike the visas for immediate relatives, visas in the other family preference categories are limited and therefore, often become available only after a long wait. These are designed for more distant familial relationships and are outlined in more detail below.
Related form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Even if your family member is not an immediate relative, they may qualify under one of the following categories for an immigrant visa:
- F1- Family First Preference includes unmarried adult (21 years or older) children (sons and daughters) of U.S. citizens
- F2- Family Second Preference. This category is reserved for family members of green card holders
- F3- Family Third Preference includes married children of U.S. citizens, their spouses, and minor children
- F4- Family Fourth Preference includes siblings (brothers and sisters) of U.S. citizens, their spouses, and minor children if the U.S. citizen is 21 years or older
How long does it take for the I-130 to be approved?
After filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, the approval process can take anywhere from 5-12 months for Immediate Relatives and could take several years for Family Preference Categories.
What happens after your I-130 gets approved?
After approval of an I-130, USCIS will send the file to the National Visa Center (NVC) and will coordinate the case transfer for consular processing in the U.S. consulate in the country where foreign relatives reside.
How much does it cost to file an I-130?
The filing fee for the I-130 petition is currently $535. You may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check.
When I can file I-130 and Green Card Application at the same time?
When the Sponsor submits Form I-130 together with Form I-485 it’s known as “concurrent filing.” This type of adjustment is an option when there is an immediately available immigrant “visa number” and the immigrant entered and living in the U.S. in lawful status and is eligible to use adjustment of status as an application procedure.
Contact Attorney Igor Litvak
Call today for a consultation
Zontlaw attorneys have provided assistance with the green card process to families throughout the United States. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems. The Green Card process is very complicated, so the best chance of success comes from working with an experienced attorney. Our attorneys, translators, and support staff will work with you individually to give you the best chance of success possible. We know how difficult and heart-wrenching the process can be, and we will be with you every step of the way. Your citizenship or your residency status is something you should entrust to a professional. Call the top New York Immigration Attorneys toll-free at 1-888-ZONTLAW / 1-888-966-8529.
Becoming a US citizen entails specific rights, duties, and the following benefits: consular protection outside the United States; ability to sponsor relatives living abroad; ability to invest in US real property without triggering additional taxes; transmitting US citizenship to children; protection from deportation and others. U.S. law permits multiple citizenship. A citizen of another country naturalized as a U.S. citizen may retain his previous citizenship