A guide for getting a Family-Based Visa for the USA

Most people working in the USA far from home wants to have their loved ones live with them in the USA. And this is where a family-based visa comes into the picture.

Current immigration law allows U.S. citizens & Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to bring their family members to the USA through the Immigration Visa (IV), also known as a "Green Card" that provides permanent residence to foreign citizens (family members).

To apply for a family-based visa, an individual needs to fulfill specific eligibility criteria:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR)

Who can file for a Family-Based Visa in the USA?

If you are living in the U.S. and wish to bring your family members to live with you, then you need to consider which category you fall into.

U.S. Citizen

If you are a U.S. Citizen, you can file an immigrant visa petition for your Spouse, Fiance, Children, Parents, Brother, or Sister.

U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

If you are a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), then you can file an immigrant visa (F2 Visa) petition for your Spouse, Children and Unmarried son or daughter.

At least 75% of F2 Visas are available for LPR spouses & minor children to apply for.  The rest is available for unmarried sons or daughters of LPRs.

Note: Family preference visas for LPRs are limited to 114,200 per fiscal year.

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Types of Family-Based Visa

There are two types of family-based immigrant visas in the USA that your family members can apply for depending on the requirements. Let us walk you through both types:

Immediate Relative Family-Based Visa

An Immediate Relative visa is available for immediate family members of U.S Citizens. The below family members are eligible to apply for an Immediate Relative Visa:

  • Spouse of U.S. Citizen
  • Unmarried Children of U.S. Citizens who are under 21 years of age
  • Orphan adopted abroad by U.S. Citizen
  • Orphans adopted by U.S. Citizens in the U.S.
  • Parents of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years of age

Note: The number of immigrants in these categories of an Immediate Relative Visa is not limited to each fiscal year.

Family Preference Immigrant Visa

Family Preference Immigrant Visa is available for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with an LPR.  The below family members are eligible to apply for Family Preference Immigrant Visa:

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • Spouses and children of LPRs
  • Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • Brother and Sister of U.S. Citizens

After the visa petition is approved, the family member must wait for the visa number of this visa category's availability. The family preference immigrant visa process may take up to 15 years to complete.

Family Preference Visa is processed in chronological order of filing date and priority is given to the applicants who have filed first in the list as per chronological order. The priority date might vary based on the country family members are applying from.

Note: The number of family members in a Family Preference Immigrant Visa is limited to each fiscal year.

Can a law firm help me in applying for a family-based visa for the U.S.?

The safest way to get a family-based visa for the USA is to contact a Law Firm. A Law Firm will dedicate an attorney who will help you through the entire procedure & process for applying and getting the family-based visa for the USA.

At Salinas Law Firm, we have one of the most qualified & experienced attorneys in Houston, Texas who have helped thousands of individuals through the procedure of obtaining family-based visas for their family members.

At Salinas Law Firm, we provide one of the best Immigration Visas services in Houston, Texas. We also offer consultations regarding a wide range of legal issues throughout Houston, surrounding areas & throughout the state of Texas and nationwide.

Contact us to hire one of the best immigration lawyers in Houston and get a consultation regarding family-based visas, any other immigration visa service, or legal issues affecting your immigration status. You can call at 713.518.1711

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