Family Visas and Green Cards
Family Visas and Green Cards
The US Family Visa and Green Card category provides US citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to sponsor their family members to join them in the US. With strong family-based visa policies, the US remains a destination of choice for families seeking to live happily together in the United States.
K-1 Visas for Fiancé (e) s of U.S. Сitizens
A K-1 visa is a temporary family visa that allows fiancés of U.S. citizens to come to the U.S. to get married. Once the K-1 visa has been issued and the couple has married, the foreign spouse (or K-1 visa holder) is entitled to apply for a Green Card as an Immediate Relative and remain in the U.S. while the application is processed. A K-1 visa is only available to fiancés of U.S. citizens who live outside the U.S. The fiancé visa (K-1) was designed to allow people who’ve become engaged to but haven’t yet married a U.S. citizen to travel to the U.S. for the wedding. Unfortunately, it isn’t available to the fiancés of U.S. permanent residents (green card holders). Your minor children can go with you to the U.S. If you marry within 90 days, you and your children can apply for a green card. Otherwise, you must leave the U.S. before the date indicated on your passport.
It’s important to realize that a fiancé visa is not a green card. It’s only a temporary, 90-day right to be in the United States. However, it’s included in this book because it’s an important first step towards getting a green card. After the immigrant has arrived in the United States and gotten married, he or she can file for a green card—through a process called “adjustment of status (Or, if the immigrant has no desire for a U.S. green card, he or she can simply return home before the fiancé visa runs out.)
K-3 Visa for Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Every year, millions of people fall in love with one another at various parts of the world. The U.S and her citizens are no exception. Some couples meet overseas, some meet when the foreigner is working, travelling or studying in the U.S. Research as shown that in few cases, both couples are actually foreign born but one of them has become a U.S citizen or permanent resident. Irrespective of how each story came about, the topmost priority right now may be to join up in the U.S as soon as possible.
Anyone who has entered into a bona fide, legal marriage to a U.S citizen or a lawful permanent resident can qualify for this category of visas. Bona fide means that the marriage is based on a desire to create a life together with your new spouse, not merely for a desire to obtain a green card; and for the marriage to be legal, it means that such a marriage is recognized by the laws of the land and country which you live in. It does not matter whether the marriage ceremony is carried out in the U.S or somewhere else. It is essential however, that the marriage respects local laws and that you obtain a document, such as a marriage certificate to prove that you done so.
A K-3 visa is a temporary family visa that allows spouses of U.S. citizens to come to the U.S. to live with their spouse while waiting for their visa number (I-130) to become available. Spouses of U.S. citizens who are beginning the immigration process are not required to obtain a K-3 visa, however this process may be faster and permit the spouse to enter the U.S. sooner than waiting for their I-130 alone. A K-3 visa is only available to spouses of U.S. citizens who live outside the U.S.
I R Green Cards for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
The I R Green Card is a family based visa that provides lawful permanent residence to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. I R Green Card applicants have special immigration priority and there is no limit to the number of visas available in this category.
From very early on in the immigration laws of the U.S, it has always been congressional intent to ensure that U.S citizen’s families are not separated based on the belief that the family is the smallest and usually the most important unit in the society. Applicants in this category really don’t need to really wait as their waiting periods are usually within the range of 2-12 months depending on how quickly relevant agencies which need to review their documents get them and whether the immigrant is coming from outside the U.S or from another region of the world. For the purpose of immigration laws in the U.S, you are an immediate relative and are most assuredly eligible for an immigrant visa without waiting if you are:
• The husband or wife of a U.S. citizen
• The parent of a U.S. citizen, if the citizen is at least 21 years of age
• The unmarried child under 21 years of age (including stepchildren and children adopted before they reach the age of 16) of a U.S. citizen, or
• The widow or widower of a U.S. citizen (assuming you weren’t legally separated at the time of death and haven’t remarried since).
F-1 to F-3 Visas for Children of U.S. Citizens
Whenever immigration laws or issues come up within the U.S government, keeping families together is a priority. Children of U.S citizens or permanent residents, born outside the U.S, are because of this consideration also eligible for green cards so as to enable them join the rest of their family members in the U.S. This chapter addresses only children whose parents have already immigrated to the United States. The F-1 and F-3 Green Cards are family based, first and third preference visas that provide lawful permanent residence to adult and married children of U.S. citizens. There is a limit to the number of visas available in these categories each year, so there is usually a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.
Immediate family members, such as spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21 years of age, of U.S. citizens may be eligible for an I R Green Card which is unlimited and no waiting period applies.
Spouse or Child of US Permanent Resident (F2) Green Card Category
The Spouse or Child of U.S. Permanent Resident Green Card category enables lawful permanent residents of the United States to sponsor their foreign spouses and children to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. In addition, the unmarried children under 21 years of age of the spouse, and the unmarried children of the U.S. lawful permanent resident and the unmarried children under 21 years of age of the lawful permanent resident’s children may apply for U.S. permanent residence as well. Around 88,000 immigrant visas are allowed to be given out each year to the spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of green card holders. But only around 26,000 visas per year can go to their unmarried children over 21 years of age. The law places no time limits on processing the applications. The current waiting period for a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 is a little less than two years. This is the lowest wait time in this category in recent history. Children over 21 should, however, should be prepared to wait longer for their immigrant visas. The green card–holding parent or spouse may be able to hurry the process along by becoming a U.S. citizen. Whichever your case is, Migration experts can help you with the processing of immigration to the U.S.
The Spouse or Child of U.S. Permanent Resident Green Card category can be applied for from either inside or outside the United States. If in the U.S., the spouse must have made a legal entry to the United States and have maintained legal status. If outside the U.S., the spouse may not enter the U.S. until the visa is granted.
Siblings of U.S. Citizen (F-4) Green Card Category
The Sibling of US Citizen category enables US citizens to sponsor their sister, brother, half-sister, half-brother, stepsister, stepbrother or adopted brother or sister living abroad or already residing in the United States to live and work in the US on a permanent basis.
If applying while the foreign sibling is in the US, the foreign sibling must have entered the US legally and continue to maintain lawful status. If applying while the foreign sibling is outside the United States, the foreign sibling must remain outside the US until the visa is granted.