Immigration Insights: Family

How Does The Process Work?

Acquiring a family visa for a spouse, child, or parent is far from a simple process. The many pitfalls of the system can be difficult to anticipate in advance. In many cases, having an experienced immigration attorney may be able to mitigate the risk of unexpected complications.

For a U.S. citizen, the process begins by filling out the form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form is designed to prove and establish a relationship between the petitioner and the prospective relative that wishes to immigrate that qualifies them to immigrate to the United States. 

This form can introduce the first of a series of issues: adopted family members. If the individual has been adopted by a certain age, they may not have as many issues, but it is recommended that an immigration attorney be consulted regarding adopted family members.

If the form is successfully completed without incident, the prospective resident will be placed on a list to receive a family visa. If the prospective resident is already in the U.S., they may be able to immediately adjust their status by filing the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. For prospective residents outside the U.S., they may have to apply for an immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State which can be done at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their native country.

Once the prospective resident has received their family permanent resident visa, the process is complete. Sometimes, however, the prospective resident will be rejected. Why this happens can be anything from suspected issues with the applicant to procedural errors with the filing of the form.

If you have had your family visa rejected, contact an experienced immigration attorney to review your application and pursue the best course of action.

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