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Law Offices of Patrick C. McGuinness, LLC

family and marriage immigration case in Plainview NJ - Law Offices of Patrick C. McGuinness, LLCFamily reunification is one of the biggest and most important areas of immigration law, and if that is your goal, we can help you pursue it. As a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may be able to sponsor certain members of your family to come to the United States on special family and spouse (or fiancé) visas.

What Are Family-Based Visas? Who Can Apply For Family-Based Visas?

Family-based visas allow U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (i.e., people with green cards) to petition to bring certain family members to the United States, or to allow those family members who are already here as undocumented immigrants to adjust their status and gain additional rights.

There are different types of visas for different types of relatives, the rules for which depend on your own unique circumstances, as well as those of your relative(s).

What Are Immediate Relative Visas?

As a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old and is living in the United States, you can petition for an Immediate Relative Visa for any of the following relatives:

  • Your spouse
  • Your parent (if you are at least 21 years old)
  • Your child (if they are unmarried and under 21 years old)
  • An orphan that is going to be adopted by a U.S. citizen

Immediate relative visas are “unlimited.” This means that there is no set number of visas that are distributed per country, per year, and there will be no need to wait for a visa to become available. The application and approval processes do take time, and not all applications are approved. However, the process if far quicker than the process for limited visas.

What Are Family Preference Visas?

There are other relatives who do not qualify for immediate family visas, but who you pay nonetheless petition for. The relatives you can petition for depend on whether you are a green card holder or a citizen.

If you are a green card holder, you can petition for:

  • Your spouse
  • Your minor children
  • Your adult (21+) unmarried children

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can petition for:

  • Your unmarried children (21+) and their minor children
  • Your married children, and any of their spouses and children
  • Your brothers and sisters, and any of their spouses and children

Unlike immediate relative visas, family preference visas are limited. This means that there are only a certain number of visas given out to citizens of any given country each year. Most countries already have a long list, so the wait to be accepted for family preference visas can be quite lengthy.

What Is A Fiancé Visa? What Is A Marriage Visa (Or A Spousal Visa)?

If your fiancé is a foreign national, you can apply for a Fiancé Visa to bring them to the United States (in some cases, along with their minor children). To pursue this sort of visa, both you and your fiancé will have to fulfill certain requirements.

You will have to:

  • Write an application and provide all necessary documentation
  • Pay fees
  • Agree to support and be responsible for your fiancé, regardless of how the relationship turns out.

Your fiancé will have to:

  • Provide extensive documentation proving their background and identity
  • Submit to a medical exam
  • Provide proof and documentation of their relationship with you.

Once both parties are in the United States, if you get married within 90 days, your now-spouse can apply for a green card.

If you are already married to someone who is not a U.S. citizen, you can bring your spouse to the United States under a Marriage Visa (or Spousal Visa). The requirements for spousal visas and fiancé visas are very similar. The one difference depends on whether you are a citizen or a green card holder. While marriage visas for the spouses of citizens are unlimited, marriage visas for the spouses of green card holders are limited, and therefore may take quite a bit longer.

Do you have a family and/or marriage immigration case in Plainview, NJ? If so, experienced, knowledgeable New Jersey Immigration Attorney Patrick McGuinness can help. Call Attorney McGuinness today for a consultation on your case.

Law Offices of Patrick C. McGuinness, LLC

Get Your Questions Answered Today
(908) 645-1006

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