Being separated from your loved ones due to country borders and immigration issues can be disheartening and stressful. You may be wondering whether it is possible to bring your family members to the United States and, if so, how the process works. The United States immigration system is undeniably complex, and many families get caught up in the rules and procedures of the process.
At Diaz Law Firm, we are passionate about providing high-quality and compassionate legal advocacy to our clients. Our team of knowledgeable Los Angeles immediate relative visa attorneys has years of experience navigating even the most complicated immigration issues that families face when trying to reunite in the United States. To learn more about how we can help, consider connecting with us at (626) 261-0402 today.
What Are Immediate Relative Visas?
Foreign nationals who want to travel to the United States have a few different avenues available to them. One of the most common options is family-based immigration, which has formed the bedrock of the U.S. immigration system for decades. There are two distinct types of family-based immigrant visas:
- Immediate Relative Visas: Granted based on an individual’s close relationship with a United States citizen. The number of visas that can be issued each year is unlimited.
- Family Preference Visas: Designed for more distant family members of U.S. citizens and certain family members of Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders). A limited number of these visas are made available each year.
Only the spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens may apply for and obtain an immediate relative visa. Other family members, such as siblings, grandparents, and cousins do not qualify for these visas under U.S. immigration law. If granted a visa, the family member is awarded a Green Card. This allows the individual to live, work, and/or study in the United States on a permanent basis. They may enroll in school, obtain employment without the need for an Employment Authorization Document, and travel in and out of the country, among other privileges.
Since the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services does not limit the number of immediate relative visas that can be granted in a year, this immigration category is considered highly advantageous. As long as a person qualifies, they may successfully apply for and obtain this immigrant visa. An experienced Los Angeles immediate relative visa attorney can discuss your situation in more detail and help you understand whether your loved one qualifies for this visa option.
Immediate Relative Visas at a Glance
At Diaz Law Firm, we have represented countless families to secure the following types of immediate relative visas:
IR-1/CR-1 Visa for Spouses
The IR-1 visa is available for the spouses of United States citizens who have been married for longer than two years at the time that their Green Card is approved. For these visas, the beneficiary does not need to remove conditions and will have ten years before needing to renew their Green Card. The CR-1 (Conditional Resident visa), on the other hand, is allocated for applicants who have been married for less than two years. These visas are granted on a conditional basis meaning, after two years, the beneficiary must apply to remove the conditions and receive their updated ten-year Green Card.
IR-2 Visa for Children
The IR-2 visa is an immigrant visa only available for the children of United States citizens. Beneficiaries of the IR-2 visa must be unmarried, under the age of 21, and must have lived with the U.S. citizen parent for at least two years. If the child is adopted, the adoption must have been finalized before their sixteenth birthday.
IR-3 Visa and IR-4 Visa for Adoptees
When United States citizens complete an adoption abroad, typically in the child’s home country, then the child is eligible for the IR-3 visa. Alternatively, the IR-4 visa enables parents to finalize the adoption of their child inside the United States. It should be noted that there are different procedures for children adopted from Hague Convention countries, however, and your Los Angeles immediate relative visa attorney can provide further insight into this matter.
IR-5 Visa for Parents
Bringing parents to the United States can provide a sense of peace and a better standard of living for all involved. The IR-5 visa allows the parents of U.S. citizens to travel to the United States as permanent residents to live and work in the country.
What Is the Processing Time for an Immediate Relative Visa?
Submitting Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is the first step to bringing your family members to the United States. This petition initiates the process and, once approved, allows your loved one to apply for their Green Card. The processing times for IR visas vary from case to case. Factors such as USCIS backlogs, errors in the application documents, and your relative’s country of origin all impact the processing time for this immigrant visa category. Historical data from the USCIS indicates that it takes between 8 months to one year to process this visa.
Can You Adjust the Status for Immediate Relatives Who Currently Have a B-1 or B-2 Visa?
Depending on your situation, it may be possible to adjust your status for immediate relatives who currently have a B-1 or B-2 visa. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Section 245(a), in order to adjust their status from a nonimmigrant visa, a person must:
- Be eligible to apply for a Green Card
- Have been officially inspected and admitted or paroled into the country
- Correctly file for adjustment of status according to the standards of U.S. immigration law
- Be physically present in the U.S.
Hiring an Experienced Los Angeles Immediate Relative Visa Attorney
If you are considering bringing your family members to the United States, it is important to carefully weigh your options before moving forward. At Diaz Law Firm, we view every case as a priority and devote the time necessary to resolve each issue in a compassionate and thorough manner. Through our client-focused approach and commitment to providing one-on-one attention in every case, we are better able to secure a favorable outcome for your case. To speak with an experienced Los Angeles immediate relative visa attorney from our team about your case, consider contacting us at (626) 261-0402 today.