Maryland Family Immigration Lawyer

The rules for obtaining legal residency or citizenship in the United States are strict. Typically, an applicant must meet specific criteria to gain resident status and then wait several years to apply for citizenship.

However, certain family members of U.S. citizens can apply for citizenship in a much quicker manner. A U.S. citizen living in the United States or lawful permanent resident may be able to sponsor a family member for a family-based immigrant visa. A successful application will allow a family member to move to the United States as a legal resident.

A Maryland family immigration lawyer could help individuals who wish to have their family members move to the United States. An experienced immigration attorney could help to reunite your family and to provide everyone with a better life.

Who Qualifies Under the U.S. Family Immigrant Visa Program?

The family-based immigrant visa program allows certain family members of legal residents or citizens to apply for visas to live in the United States. All applicants under this program must be the relative of a person legally residing in the United States and must intend to remain in the U.S. These visas come in two classes.

The first is for immediate relatives of legal residents, or IR’s. These are:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried children (under the age of 21) of U.S. citizens
  • Orphans adopted abroad by U.S. citizens
  • Orphans to be adopted by U.S. citizens
  • Parents of U.S. citizens (where the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old)

The government issues an unlimited number of these visas.

The other classes of visas are limited in number. These are known as family preference visas. These categories include:

  • Unmarried children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21 and those peoples’ children
  • Married children of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children
  • Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children

A Maryland family immigration lawyer could help one understand which category of family visa their family may be able to acquire.

The Application Process

The steps needed for obtaining a family-based immigrant visa are long and complex. The process begins with the sponsoring relative filing Form I-130 with the USCIS. This form includes information concerning both the sponsor and the family member applying for entry and includes a filing fee.

Once the USCIS approves this application, they will send the file to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC, when a visa is available, will ask the sponsor to submit additional paperwork and to provide a fee to continue the Immigrant Visa Application. In total an applicant and their sponsor will need to provide:

  • Passports for all applicants under the program
  • An Affidavit of Support from the petitioner
  • Two photographs
  • Any additional civil documents required by the relevant consular officer
  • Completed medical examination forms

Finally, the final step is to participate in an interview with a U.S. consular officer at the U.S. embassy in the applicant’s home country. This is to ensure that the application is complete.

A family immigration lawyer in Maryland could help sponsors to complete the paperwork in the United States and to assist the applicants in obtaining help in their home countries if needed.

Let a Maryland Family Immigration Attorney Assist Today

Obtaining the American dream is never complete without one’s family. While many U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may be able to live a quality life in the U.S., they will likely wish to do so with their families.

However, just because someone is related to a U.S. citizen does not give them the right to live in the United States. To achieve this, a qualified family member must obtain a family-based immigration visa.

A Maryland family immigration lawyer could help with this complex process. They can help potential sponsors to understand if their family members qualify under either of the visa programs. They can then assist with the paperwork, submit the relevant files, and even help to make arrangements in the applicant’s home country if they require aid. Contact a lawyer today to see how an attorney can help reunite your family.