Supporting Family-Based Immigration Visas
Immigration based on a family relationship is divided into different categories, and the process and waiting times depend on the category. There are categories for spouses, parents, children, adult children, and siblings.
The family-based immigration process is initiated by the filing of an I-130 petition for a relative (defined as spouse, parent, child, adult child or sibling) or an I-129F for a fiancé.
If the individual is in the U.S, he or she may be able to pursue adjustment of status to permanent residence simultaneously with the I-130 petition. Note, adjustment of status is filed in the U.S., but for others, processing is outside the U.S. at a U.S. Consulate.
K-1: Fiancé(e) Visas
If you are a U.S. citizen with plans to marry a foreign national who lives abroad, you can help your fiancé immigrate to the U.S. by obtaining a fiancé(e) visa.
This visa is available to the fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens who plan on marrying their U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days of entry into the U.S and is initiated by the filing of an I-129F petition with USCIS. In order to qualify, the couple must have physically met at least once in the two years before filing the application. USCIS can waive the in-person requirement in very limited situations.
After the I-129F is approved, the fiancé(e) is interviewed at the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy where a final determination as to his or her eligibility is made. This entire process can take many months before the fiancé actually obtains permission to enter the U.S.
Once the U.S. citizen and the fiancé(e) are married, an adjustment of status application is filed with USCIS.
Petitions for Family (Spouses, Parents, Children, Adult Children, Brothers or Sisters)
This process is initiated by the filing of an I-130 petition with immigration for your relative. If the individual is in the U.S., it may be possible to pursue adjustment of status simultaneously in the U.S. to permanent residence (see below).
If the individual is not eligible to adjust his or her status in the U.S., then once the I-130 is approved, the case is then transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC), which collects documentation for the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. When the family category’s priority date is “current”, the NVC will forward the information to the appropriate consulate or embassy, which will then schedule an interview for the individual.
The family member is interviewed at the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy where a final determination is made. This entire process can take many months, or even years if there is a lack of visas for the individual’s particular family category, before the family member actually obtains permission to enter the U.S.
Adjustment of Status In The U.S.
This process is for persons who are already in the U.S. The adjustment of status (AOS) process is usually easier, faster and generally more secure than consular processing.
If the individual is eligible to adjust status, then the I-130 petition and I-485 can be filed together. During the time the application is pending the individual can seek permission to work and travel.
Reach Out For Assistance
Our lawyers handle family-based immigration petitions and visas for clients in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and throughout the world. Whether you are seeking to enter the U.S. yourself or are acting on behalf of a family member, we are here to assist. Contact us online or call 206-512-3597. Se Habla Español.