FAMILY MEMBER OF A U.S. CITIZEN
U.S. Citizens may still petition for qualifying family members who are not considered immediate relatives. Unfortunately children over the age of 21 and siblings, are not considered immediate relatives. Thus, there are a limited number of these visas available and often longer wait times.
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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 preferences 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 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 relative 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 Sponsor submit Form I-130 together with Form I-485 its know 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 eligible to use adjustment of status as an application procedure.
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Immigrating to the U.S., even when you have a family member who is a Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident, known as an LPR (has a green card), is tricky. There is a lot of information to navigate, but we are your one-stop shop. There are caps (numerical limits) on...read more
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