What Types Of Visas Are Available For Families Coming To The United States?

There are a multitude of reasons a foreign national might wish to come to the United States. Some want to immigrate to the U.S. to work or attend school on a temporary basis. Others are seeking a new life altogether and desire to begin their the path toward lawful permanent resident status and, eventually, U.S. citizenship. At our firm, we are especially committed to helping those who wish to come to the U.S. for family-related reasons.

Los Angeles Attorney For Family Immigrant Visas

Under the immigration laws of the United States, there are two primary types of visas: non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas are granted to eligible foreign citizens who have been approved to enter and remain in the U.S. temporarily. Some common types of non-immigrant visas include student visas, tourist visas, and employment-related visas.

A foreign national who wishes to come to the United States and live here permanently must obtain an immigrant visa. Immigrant visa availability is based upon a variety of reasons and situations, with family-based visas being among the most common. In order for a foreign citizen to obtain a family-based immigrant visa, he or she must be sponsored by a relative who is at least 21 years old and is either a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

Types Of Family Visas

According to the United States Department of State, there are two sub-sets of family-related immigrant visas. The appropriate visa for a given situation will depend upon the status of the sponsor and the sponsor’s relationship to the applicant. 

The two categories of family-based immigrant visas are:

  • Immediate Relative Visa: This type of visa is available to a close family member of a U.S. citizen sponsor. This includes a spouse, children under the age of 21, and the sponsor’s parents. The United States government puts no limit on the number of immediate relative visas in a given year.
  • Family Preference Visa: This types of visa is available to more distant—but specifically defined—family relationships with a U.S. citizen and certain relationships with a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Family preference visas are limited by the U.S. government in a given year.

There is a third category of visas that are not officially recognized as family visas yet would be considered family-related by most. K-visas, also referred to as “fiancé visas,” are available to eligible individuals who are engaged to U.S. citizens and green card holders. Fiancé visas are not limited on an annual basis, but they are subject to being revoked if the marriage is not finalized or is found to be fraudulent.

Finding The Right Family Visa

If you have a family member living abroad that you wish to bring into the United States on a family immigrant visa, we are here to help. We will discuss your situation and determine the right type of visa that your loved one will need. From there, our lawyers will guide you through the application process to ensure that everything is completed properly. Our team is committed to helping you provide new opportunities for your family, no matter what challenges may arise.

Contact Us Today To Schedule A Free Consultation In One Of Our Los Angeles Offices. We Look Forward To The Opportunity To Serve You.

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