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Family unification (parents, children, siblings)

Immigrants come to America, but often leave their hearts behind in their home countries  in the form of their children, parents, brothers and sisters and grandparents.  US immigration laws have set up a tier system for US citizens and US permanent residents bringing their families to US with immigrant visas and Shepelsky Law Group Immigration attorneys handle all aspects of family immigration.

US Citizens filing for spouses and children over 21  

  •  I-130 Alien Relative Petition is filed with USCIS with proof of family relationship. Attach marriage and birth records. Attach proof of US citizenship.
  • Immediate visa category.  This means no wait for an immigrant visa to be current in the annual quota
  • Upon approval, NVC will collect civil documents, financial documents and documents proving both sides are not a risk for public charge denials (not being able to support themselves once in US)
  • Once NVC has all the documents, NVC sends the file to the home country US Consulate for an interview for issuance of an Immigrant Visa.
  • Upon entry, the beneficiary family members receive green cards.
  • If the spouse or child is in the US, they may file for adjustment of status (receiving the green card directly from USCIS) and all unlawful presence and unlawful work is generally forgiven by USCIS.

US Citizens filing for parents

  •  I-130 Petition is filed with USCIS with proof of parent/child relationship. Attach birth and marriage records.
  • Petitioner must be an adult over 21 years old and must prove US citizenship.
  • Immediate visa category.  This means no wait for an immigrant visa to be current in the annual quota
  • Upon approval, NVC will collect civil documents, financial documents and documents proving both sides are not a risk for public charge denials (not being able to support themselves once in US)
  • Once NVC has all the documents, NVC sends the file to the home country US Consulate for an interview for issuance of an Immigrant Visa.
  • Upon entry, the beneficiary family members receive green cards.
  • If the parent beneficiary is in the US, they may file for adjustment of status (receiving the green card directly from USCIS) and all unlawful presence and unlawful work is generally forgiven by USCIS.
  • Each parent (mother and father) need their own separate I-130 Petitions, separate visa applications and separate adjustment of status applications. Each parent has their own individual case and must satisfy all immigration laws separately from each other.

US citizens filing for children over 21 – F1 family-sponsored preference category 

  •  I-130 Petition is filed with USCIS with proof of parent/child relationship. Attach birth and marriage records.
  • Petitioner must be an adult over 21 years old and must prove US citizenship.  Beneficiary must be an adult over 21.
  • NOT an immediate visa category.  This means there will be a wait for an immigrant visa to be current in the annual quota. Currently, the wait is over 7 years for the visa to become current.  But countries like China (mainland), India, Mexico and the Philippines have longer waiting times.
  • The I-130 Petition may include the beneficiary and her children under 21 and they will all receive immigrant visas.
  • Upon approval of the I-130 Petition, NVC will collect civil documents, financial documents and documents proving both sides are not a risk for public charge denials (not being able to support themselves once in US)
  • Once NVC has all the documents, NVC sends the file to the home country US Consulate for an interview for issuance of an Immigrant Visa.
  • Upon entry, the beneficiary and his/her children under 21 receive green cards.
  • If the parent beneficiary is in the US, they may file for adjustment of status (receiving the green card directly from USCIS) and all unlawful presence and unlawful work is generally forgiven by USCIS.

Lawful permanent residents (green card holders) filing for spouses and children under 21 – F2A family sponsored preference category 

  •  I-130 Petition to USCIS with proof of parent/child relationship or proof of marriage. Attach birth and marriage records.
  • NOT an immediate visa category.
  • This means there is some wait for an immigrant visa to be current in the annual quota.  Currently, the wait is 1.5  years for the visa to become current, but countries like China (mainland), India, Mexico and Philippines have longer waiting times.
  • The I-130 Petition may include the beneficiary and her children under 21 and they will all receive immigrant visas.
  • Upon approval, NVC will collect civil documents, financial documents and documents proving both sides are not a risk for public charge denials (not being able to support themselves once in US)
  • Once NVC has all the documents, NVC sends the file to the home country US Consulate for an interview for issuance of an Immigrant Visa.
  • Upon entry, the beneficiary family members receive green cards.
  • If the beneficiary is in the United States and is IN LAWFUL STATUS (for example, on a Student Visa or a Work Visa), she may file for adjustment of status (receiving the green card directly from USCIS).
  • This category does not forgive unlawful presence and unlawful work in the US and this will cause denial and bar to entering to U.S.

Lawful permanent residents (green card holders) filing for adult children Over 21 – F2B family sponsored preference category 

  •  I-130 Petition to USCIS with proof of parent/child relationship or proof of marriage. Attach birth and marriage records.
  • NOT an immediate visa category.
  • This means there is some wait for an immigrant visa to be current in the annual quota.  Currently, the wait is 1.5  years for the visa to become current, but countries like China (mainland), India, Mexico, and the Philippines have longer waiting times.
  • The I-130 Petition may include the beneficiary and her children under 21, and they will all receive immigrant visas. Just as long as the lead beneficiary remains UNMARRIED.
  • Upon approval, NVC will collect civil documents, financial documents and documents proving both sides are not a risk for public charge denials (not being able to support themselves once in US)
  • Once NVC has all the documents, NVC sends the file to the home country US Consulate for an interview for issuance of an Immigrant Visa.
  • Upon entry, the beneficiary family members receive green cards.
  • If the beneficiary is in the United States and is IN LAWFUL STATUS (for example, on a Student Visa or a Work Visa), she may file for adjustment of status (receiving the green card directly from USCIS).
  • This category does not forgive unlawful presence and unlawful work in US and this will cause a denial and bar to entering to U.S.

Married children of US citizens – F3 family sponsored preference category 

  •  I-130 Petition to be sent to USCIS with proof of parent/child relationship or proof of marriage. Attach birth and marriage records.
  • NOT an immediate visa category.
  • There is a LONG wait for an immigrant visa to be current in the annual quota.  Currently, the wait is 14 years for the visa to become current, but countries like China (main land), India, Mexico and Philippines have even longer waiting times. Hard to believe, but true.
  • The I-130 Petition may include the beneficiary and her spouse and children under 21 and they will all receive immigrant visas together.
  • Upon approval, NVC will collect civil documents, financial documents and documents proving both sides are not a risk for public charge denials (not being able to support themselves once in US)
  • Once NVC has all the documents, NVC sends the file to the home country US Consulate for an interview for issuance of an Immigrant Visa.
  • Upon entry, the beneficiary and her family members receive green cards.
  • If the beneficiary is in the United States and is IN LAWFUL STATUS (for example, on a Student Visa or a Work Visa), she may file for adjustment of status (receiving the green card directly from USCIS).
  • This category does not forgive unlawful presence and unlawful work in US and this will cause a denial and bar to entering to U.S.

Brother or sister of US citizens – F4 family-sponsored preference category 

  •  I-130 Petition to be sent to USCIS with proof of sibling relationship or proof of parents’ marriage. Attach birth and marriage records for each family member.
  • NOT an immediate visa category.
  • There is a LONG wait for an immigrant visa to be current in the annual quota.  Currently, the wait is 15 years for the visa to become current, but countries like China (main land), India, Mexico and Philippines have even longer waiting times. Hard to believe, but true.
  • The I-130 Petition may include the beneficiary and her spouse and children under 21 and they will all receive immigrant visas together.
  • Upon approval, NVC will collect civil documents, financial documents and documents proving both sides are not a risk for public charge denials (not being able to support themselves once in US)
  • Once NVC has all the documents, NVC sends the file to the home country US Consulate for an interview for issuance of an Immigrant Visa.
  • Upon entry, the beneficiary and her family members receive green cards.
  • If the beneficiary is in the United States and is IN LAWFUL STATUS (for example, on a Student Visa or a Work Visa), she may file for adjustment of status (receiving the green card directly from USCIS).
  • This category does not forgive unlawful presence and unlawful work in US and this will cause a denial and bar to entering to U.S.

To check on the movement of your Immigrant Visa Case, please visit the US Department of State’s Current Visa Bulletin website. The bulletin is updated by the US Department of State every month and reports the dates they are working on this month for visa issuance.

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