Family-Based Visas

August 06, 2021

family based visa going to united statesImmigration laws are constantly changing, which makes it difficult to navigate the immigration process.  If you need immigration services for yourself, a family member, or your business, an experienced immigration attorney at The Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates will assess your case to decide the best course of action for your immigration needs.

What is Family-Based Immigration? A foreign citizen who wants to live in the United States permanently needs an IV immigrant visa. To apply for an IV, a foreign citizen needs a sponsor such as an immediate relative, at least 21 years old, and is either a United States citizen or a green-card holder.

Two kinds of family-based immigrant visas:

Immediate Relative — these visas require a close family relationship with a United States citizen, such as a parent, spouse, or child. The amount of immigrants in this category is not limited to each fiscal year.

Family Preference — this type of visa is for distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some relationships with an LPR or Lawful Permanent Resident. This category limits the number of immigrants each fiscal year.

An immigration attorney Palm Harbor can provide all the answers you need for your family-based visas.

Remember that United States citizens are able to file for the immigrant visa petition for:

  • Brother or sister
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Spouse

A U.S. LPR or Lawful Permanent Resident is only able to file an immigrant visa petition for:

  • A spouse or unmarried child

The “Family-Based Petition” generally refers to how a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident helps their foreign relatives obtain a “green card.”  This petition can be filed if you are in the United States or abroad, though the process is different. An immigration lawyer Palm Harbor can help you through this process.

Here are the two basic requirements to qualify:

  • The relative must either be a U.S. Citizen or an LPR, Lawful Permanent Resident. A citizen of the United States can file a petition for their spouse, child, parent, or sibling.  An LPR or Lawful Permanent Resident can petition for their unmarried child or spouse.
    • The relative must present evidence to prove your relationship with the application that they are an LPR or United States Citizen.
    • For instance, if you are an American Citizen and would like to file a petition for a foreign child of yours, you must submit a copy of their birth certificate to prove that they are your child.
  • Your relative must prove that they have the financial ability to sponsor you.  Therefore, the American Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident must prove that their income is over the poverty line by 125% at minimum.
    • When deciding this, the Department of Homeland Security looks at the petitioner’s household size, income, and assets.  If they are unable to provide this, a co-sponsor may be needed.

An immigration attorney Palm Harbor FL can help sift through all the rules and regulations regarding immigration law and steps to obtain family-based visas. Contact the professionals in immigration law at the Office of Robert Eckard & Associates today. You will be glad you did.


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