Family based Visas
Helping a family member, whether it is your spouse, fiancÚ(e), child, parent or brother or sister, become a permanent resident of the US, follows roughly the same procedure as outlined below. It may seem straightforward, but there are many nuances in each type of family-based visa. Please read our site carefully, and if you have any questions, please contact us for more information on family based immigration to the US.
- First, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant visa petition (I-130) for you. The US citizen relative fills this out on behalf of the foreign-born relative. It must be accompanied by proof of the relationship and the other required documentation in order to begin the family based immigration process.
- Second, the Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is available for the foreign national, according to the category of visa applied for, even if that person already lives in the United States.
- The third step in family based immigration, if the foreign relative is already in the United States, he or she should apply to change his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available. This is one way to secure an immigrant visa number. You can adjust your status, commonly known as AOS, by submitting a form I-485 along with other required documentation, such as the results of medical examinations, police certificates, etc. I-485s are considered by the USCIS directly. In this case, principal applicants, both petitioner and beneficiary should submit their applications together (I-130 + I-485 + required documentation) through the local office rather than regional one.
- If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, the foreign relative must go to the U.S. consulate to complete the processing. This is the other way in which you can apply to secure an immigrant visa number for US family based immigration. If a beneficiary is based outside the United States, then his / her documents are considered by the National Visa Center (NVC) before his / her case is being sent to the US Consulate for further processing.NVC reviews the documentation and completes the required administrative processing, such as checking backgrounds and so on.
This area contains more specific information on the following visa types:
- K-3 visas for the spouse of a US citizen
- K-1 visas for the fiance(e) of a US citizen
- US visas for the children of a US citizen, fiance(e) of a US citizen, or permanent resident of the US
- US visas for foreign-born adopted children, including information for US citizens living abroad and US permanent residents
- US visas for parents of US citizens
- US visas for siblings of US citizens