Family preference visas are available to certain relatives of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. These visas are not for immediate family members, who generally fall within a different type of visa classification. More specifically, you may qualify for a family preference visa if you fall within one of the following categories:
· Unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are older than 21 and their minor children
· Spouses, minor children, and unmarried older children of legal permanent residents
· Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children
· Siblings of U.S. citizens and their minor children, if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21
There are limits on the number of family preference visas per year; most family preference visas go to the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents. Since there is so much demand for family preference visas, there can be a lengthy waiting period for individuals applying for them. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues these visas in chronological order according to when the U.S. sponsor files the visa petition. In some categories of these visas, where the number of approved petitions greatly outnumber the number of available visas, the waiting period can be several years.
To apply for a family preference visas, the U.S. sponsor must file a Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS. The U.S. sponsor must have a permanent residence in the U.S. and intend to remain living in the U.S. The sponsor must be at least 21 years old to sponsor a sibling or parent, and at least 18 years old to sign an Affidavit of Support, which is required for immigrant visas for spouses and other relatives.
In order to qualify for a family preference visa, the applicant must have a passport that will be valid for at least 60 days following the issuance of the visa, submit completed medical forms that include a vaccination record, and submit certain documents, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, military records, and police records. Applicants also cannot have a past conviction for drug trafficking, submit any fraudulent documents, or previously have overstayed a visa.
When you are facing immigration difficulties, you may not know where to turn. At Peek & Toland, we are here to help you with your immigration case. We will devote all of our efforts to representing your interests, answering your questions, and calming your concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact Peek & Toland and schedule a time to meet with us today. We can help protect your rights and get you the relief that you need.