As a U.S. citizen looking to bring your whole family or a single family member over from another country to live with you here, the first thing on your to-do list should be to hire a family immigration attorney in Salt Lake City. Immigration laws are complex, making it difficult for the average person to know what to do. An attorney can walk you through the many, time-consuming steps involved in moving your loved ones to the United States, but first, here are some important things you should know.
Only Immediate Relatives Don’t Have to Wait in Line
While you can petition for immigration for any relative, only your immediate family members will receive visas without having to wait. The rest of your family will be arranged into preference groups for which the number of annual visas is limited.
Immediate Family Members Include:
- Your spouse if you are a citizen
- Your parents, as long as you are over 21 years old, if you are a citizen
- Your unmarried children under 21 years of age if you are a citizen
Other Relatives Include:
- Your siblings if you are a citizen
- Your married children of any age if you are a citizen
- Your unmarried children over the age of 21 if you are a citizen
- Your unmarried children over the age of 21 if you only hold a green card
- Your spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age if you only hold a green card
How to Begin the Family Immigration Process
If your relative is already in the United States, they can apply for a green card when a visa number becomes available by filling out Form I-485 with your family immigration attorney in Salt Lake City. If, however, they still live in another country, you must petition to the National Visa Center. When a visa number becomes available, the NVC will notify your family member of the next required steps. After receiving all applications, the NVC will forward the case to the country’s embassy or consulate to conduct an interview.
The Usual Wait Time for Petition Processing
The wait time for processing immigration petitions may vary, depending on what group your relative has been categorized under. Immediate family members are processed faster than other relatives. In most cases, petitions are processed in the order in which they were received. More specific wait time information can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) website.
The best way to make the immigration process go more smoothly is to contact a family immigration attorney in Salt Lake City. At Familia America Immigration, we can explain the petition process, including who is eligible, and walk you through the forms and supporting documents that you’ll need to file. If any complications come up, we can guide you through that too. Call us today at 801-656-9605 for expert advice.