Starting a new life in the United States is a dream for many people around the world. However, immigrants who enjoy the opportunity and freedom associated with this country often miss the loved ones they left behind. If you want to help a spouse, child, parent or sibling move to America, Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm can help. Mr. Rhodes is an Augusta family immigration attorney who has helped clients in Georgia and elsewhere complete the complex procedures needed to sponsor a loved one for a visa and lawful permanent resident status.
Whether you can sponsor a family member for immigration to the United States depends on several factors. If you are a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor a spouse, son, daughter, parent or sibling. Conversely, lawful permanent residents are only allowed to file an immigration visa petition for their spouse or unmarried son or daughter. No matter what the specific relationship between the applicant and sponsor might be, hiring the right lawyer for a visa application is critical. Joseph T. Rhodes has more than 10 years of experience representing clients in green card petitions, naturalization proceedings and other immigration matters.
You must have the requisite family relationship to apply for a visa and pass the background check that examines any criminal history, financial records and other relevant information. How long someone might have to wait for a visa depends greatly on the specific visa they’re applying for and other factors, such as whether a limit exists on how many visas of that type can be issued. Immediate family members, such as spouses and children under 21, often complete the process within six to 12 months. Siblings and parents sometimes have to wait for a number of years.
The path to obtaining an immigrant visa for a family member starts with the filing of Form I-130, which is the Petition for an Alien Relative. This initiates the review within the State Department’s National Visa Center, which will send you information about the fees and the Affidavit of Support, in which the sponsor attests that they will take financial responsibility for the applicant if they receive an immigrant visa. From there, documents such as the applicant’s birth certificate, military records, marriage certificate and financial records must be sent.
On its own, having a family member in the United States is not enough to secure an immigrant visa or green card. Like other aspiring immigrants, evidence of a criminal history or financial issues that indicate the applicant could become a public charge might be used to deny a visa petition. When a marriage is less than two years old, a spouse-sponsored visa only confers conditional residency status, which can be converted to full lawful permanent residency following the couple’s second anniversary. Same-sex couples sometimes face challenges if they were unable to be married in their own country. In these situations, you might opt to bring your partner over on a fiancé visa and then marry in the United States.
Someone who originally intends to spend time with family members on a temporary basis might decide that they want to make the United States their permanent home. The process of switching from a nonimmigrant to an immigrant visa is referred to as an adjustment of status. Our firm can advise you regarding your eligibility and help you initiate the petition, starting with the submission of form I-130.
Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm in Augusta handles a full range of family-based immigration matters on behalf of individuals intending to live in the United States and their sponsors. Please call 706-496-1616 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation about the steps you need to take.