Guide to Immigration Options for Extended Family Members

Faraz Shaikh

Getting Back Together with Extended Family under US Immigration Laws

Our extensive guide provides detailed information on the many immigration options open to extended family members, the qualifying standards, and the application procedures. Skilled family immigration lawyers and family-based immigration lawyers may speed up the process and ensure a favorable outcome.

Categories of Family-Based Immigrant Visas

Immediate Relative visas and Family Preference visas are the two primary categories of family-based immigrant visas available under the US immigration system.

Immediate Relative Visas

Close family members of American citizens may apply for Immediate Relative Visas. These consist of:

No yearly restrictions exist on the number of visas granted in these categories for immediate relatives.

Family Preference Visas

Annual numerical restrictions apply to Family Preference Visas, which have been created for more distant familial relationships. The following categories are included:

  • F1: Unmarried sons and daughters of citizens of the United States (age 21 and up)
  • F2A: Spouses of lawful permanent residents and their unmarried children (under 21)
  • F2B: Sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents who are not married and are older than 21
  • F3: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • F4: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older)

About 226,000 family preference visas are available annually.

Conditions of Eligibility

The sponsor’s relationship to the beneficiary and status as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident determine eligibility for family-based immigration. Spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens are eligible for Immediate Relatives with no restrictions on their visas. Because of visa limits, siblings of U.S. citizens and married children over 21 in Family Preference Categories must wait longer. There may also be delays for spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents.

Passage Law’s family-based immigration lawyers are skilled at managing these complex qualifying standards and can help you ensure your application is approved.

Processing of Applications

Processing of Applications

Whether the family member is inside or outside the US determines how many stages are included in the family-based immigration application procedure. First, file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to establish the qualifying relationship. Every family member you support needs a different Form I-130.

If the petition falls under the Family Preference categories, the following stage is to wait for a visa number to become available once USCIS accepts the Form I-130. There is no waiting period for a visa for immediate relatives.

The case for family members not in the United States will be handled by the National Visa Center (NVC) and then forwarded to the beneficiary’s home country’s U.S. embassy or consulate. Fees must be paid, necessary paperwork must be sent in, and an interview must be attended. Once a visa number is obtained (if necessary), family members in the country may submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Without leaving the United States, this procedure enables the beneficiary to change their status to a legal resident.

At Passage Law, our family immigration attorneys guarantee an easy procedure for your family members by having years of expertise in consular processing and status adjustments.

Financial Support

Financial Support in Extended Family Members Immigration

Sponsors must submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, proving they can afford to support the immigrant. This guarantees the immigrant will not end up as a public charge. Delays or rejections are avoided with proper financial documentation. You can get assistance from our family immigration lawyers in preparing and submitting the required financial records to satisfy sponsorship criteria.

Visa Bulletin

The Department of State’s monthly Visa Bulletin lists the current processing dates and the availability of immigrant visas. Family Preference application needs to know this to monitor their standing. Frequently consulting the Visa Bulletin can help applicants plan their next actions and keep up to date on changes in processing times.

At Passage Law, our family immigration lawyers can help you understand the Visa Bulletin and its relevance to your situation.

Immigration Options for Specific Extended Family Members

Family members have different visa categories and procedures depending on their proximity to the sponsor. Here we breakdown the possibilities for different extended family members:

Immigration Choices for Siblings

Under the F4 visa category, U.S. citizens 21 years of age and up can sponsor their siblings for a Green Card. The steps involved are filing Form I-130, petitioning for alien relatives, and waiting for visa availability as listed in the visa bulletin. Once a visa number is obtained, the sibling can proceed with the consular procedure or status adjustment.

Our family immigration lawyers at Passage Law can walk you through every stage of this procedure and ensure that all required paperwork is correctly completed and submitted.

Married Children’s Immigration Options

Over 21-year-old married children of U.S. citizens are eligible for sponsorship under the F3 visa category. Form I-130 must be filed, and visa numbers must be waited for. Once a visa number is obtained, the married children may proceed with consular procedures or status adjustment.

Married Children's Immigration Options

At Passage Law, our family-based immigration lawyers are experts in handling these matters, reducing delays and increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Immigration Options for Single Children Over 21

Lawful permanent residents under the F2B visa category can sponsor unmarried children over 21. Form I-130 must be filed, visa numbers must be checked for availability in the Visa Bulletin, and consular processing or status adjustments must be completed once a visa number is available.

You may handle this process with assurance knowing that your case is in capable hands when you work with Passage Law’s knowledgeable family immigration attorneys.

Choices for Parent Immigration

Parents of U.S. citizens at least 21 can be sponsored under the Immediate Relative category, IR5, although they are not usually regarded as extended family. Usually, this procedure moves more quickly because there are no numerical restrictions.

Our family immigration attorneys can help speed up the application procedure and ensure all conditions are fulfilled on time.

Benefits of Legal Assistance

While it might be stressful, family immigration can be handled with the proper assistance. The knowledgeable family immigration lawyers at Passage Law are here to assist you at every turn. Whether you require help with immigration and family law or are searching for a family immigration lawyer near you, our team can provide informed guidance and support.

Why Select Passage Law?

  • Experience: Handling difficult family-based immigration cases, our family and immigration lawyers are very knowledgeable.
  • Personalized Service: We create our legal solutions to meet your specific needs.
  • Track Record: We have great success helping families through the immigration process and back together.

Visit the Passage Law for further information or to schedule a consultation. Dedicated family law and immigration attorneys are here to help you achieve your immigration goals.

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