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Immigration for Immediate Relatives
U.S. Citizens have the legal right to petition for certain immediate relatives to live and work permanently in the United States. Foreign nationals who are immediate relatives of citizens have special immigration priority. This means they do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available because there are an unlimited number of visas for the immediate relative category. Under this category, foreign nationals can complete the family-based immigration process both in and outside of the United States.
Immediate Relative Immigration Process
The eligible immediate relatives include the following relatives of U.S. citizens:
- Unmarried children under the age of 21
- Parent, if the U.S. citizen is age 21 or older
When it has been determined that the relative qualifies as an immediate relative under the USCIS definition, both the U.S. citizen and foreign national beneficiary can complete the immigration process inside of the United States, or in their home country.
Immediate Relatives Inside U.S.
If the foreign national is currently residing in the United States, they can use their special immigration priority as immediate relatives to apply for permanent residence. Applicants will need to complete Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust status. The U.S. citizen who is sponsoring the immediate relative will need to complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Once the necessary forms have been completed, foreign nationals will have to submit their I-485 application with Form I-797, which shows that a citizen's I-130 petition has been approved or is pending.
Immediate Relatives Outside U.S.
Immediate relatives residing in their home country can complete the immigration process through consular processing. This means the USCIS will work with the Department of State in the immediate relative's country to process the necessary paperwork, evaluate documentation and conduct any interviews, if necessary. The consulate will then issue a visa that the foreign national can use to travel to the United States. Upon entry and admittance, they will officially become a permanent resident.
Both citizens and foreign nationals should be aware that the immediate relative category is strict and that the USCIS does not allow for any other relatives or situations to qualify for special priority. This means children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21 and children who are married must apply for family-sponsored preference visas. The processing time is significantly longer in these categories, as there are limits to the amount of visas available.
Swift and Accurate Legal Aid for Immediate Relatives
Brown Immigration Law provides competent, professional and experienced representation for immediate relative immigration issues. As our legal team understands the importance of family unity, we use our extensive knowledge of USCIS regulations and the immigration process to assist U.S. citizens during their sponsorship of an immediate relative. By focusing on the thorough preparation of all necessary forms, our firm will help to facilitate swift and accurate processing and successful resolutions.
To learn more about how our reputable Orlando immigration attorneys can help your immediate relative immigrate to the United States, contact Brown Immigration Law today.
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