What is a family-based immigrant visa?
How can we help you?
Family-based immigration allows a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident to petition the government to allow specific family members to migrate into the United States to live in their area. There is no specific number limit for spouses, minor children or parents that citizens can petition for, but, there is a total limit of 480,000 family-based visas issued every year for other family members in the United States. This number includes adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens and spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents.
To qualify for a family member’s visa, the United States citizen or lawful permanent resident must:
- petition for the relative
- prove the nature of the relationship between them, and
agree to support the relative upon his or her arrival.
How do I petition for lawful permanent resident status?
Once your family member is allowed to enter the United States, they should begin their petition for lawful permanent resident status. This can also be handled via consular processing.
The consular process involves:
- A background check
- Submitting fingerprints for identification
- Completing an application for lawful permanent resident status
What is the next step to becoming a U.S. Citizen?
If the individual receives lawful permanent resident status, they can continue to petition for U.S. citizenship. The applicant must have lived in the United States for at least three years, pass a background check and also pass a civics test.