A Brief Overview Of Family-Based Visas

Law Blog

Many people want to move to the United States to experience the freedoms and opportunities available in this country. The immigration process can be tedious and time-consuming, and some people are denied entry after enduring a long wait period.

One way to speed up the immigration process and improve the odds of success is to apply for a family-based visa.

What Is a Family-Based Visa?

There are numerous types of visas that can be obtained by foreign citizens to gain entry into the United States. One of these visas is a family-based visa. A relative currently living in the United States may be able to sponsor a potential immigrant for a green card or an immigrant visa.

Certain conditions must be met by both the sponsoring family member and the immigrant to qualify for a family-based visa.

Who Can Be a Sponsor?

One of the most common questions surrounding family-based visas pertains to the identity of potential sponsors. The law allows any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to act as a sponsor for a family-based visa. This means that if you want to sponsor a family member, you will need to be able to provide proof of citizenship along with the visa application.

Who Can Be Sponsored?

Just as there are limitations on who can act as a sponsor when applying for a family-based visa, there are some limitations on who can be sponsored as they attempt to gain entry into the United States.

There are two separate categories of family-based visas. The first is known as an immediate relative visa. This type of family-based visa applies to the spouse, parent, unmarried child, or adopted child of a sponsor.

The second type of family-based visa is referred to as a family preference immigrant visa. Brothers, sisters, married children, and grandchildren of an approved sponsor can apply for entry into the United States under a family preference immigrant visa.

How Are Family-Based Visas Obtained?

A family-based visa can be obtained by having the sponsor fill out a petition for immigration status. This petition will establish the familial relationship between the sponsor and the potential immigrant.

Supporting documents must be submitted along with the petition in order to reduce the waiting period required for the immigrant to gain entry. The help of an immigration attorney can prove invaluable when you are trying to obtain a family-based visa for one of your loved ones.


27 January 2020

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