Form I-130 is not available to all family members as a means to immigrate to the United States. The categories are very specific, and there are limitations on who may apply. It only includes immediate relatives. It does not include, for example, cousins. There are also restrictions that turn on which country your relative is a citizen of. But first you must determine which relatives qualify for a family visa.
The following immediate relatives are generally eligible to apply under I-130, which is filled out by the US citizen or lawful permanent resident on behalf of the eligible relative, to enable that relative to come to the US or remain here permanently and obtain a Green Card:
- Spouses of United States citizens.
- Unmarried children (who are under the age of 21) of the US citizen.
- Parents of US citizens, if the parent is at least 21 years old.
While there are other visa categories for alien family members to enter, live and work in the US, Form I-130 is specifically designed for immediate family members (defined above).
Approval of Form I-130
Submission of the form is just the first step in helping an eligible relative to immigrate to the US. But neither the filing nor the approval of Form I-130 provides the relative with any particular benefit or any particular immigrant status. The form will be approved, as a general rule, if you can establish the relationship between yourself and your alien relative. But, as with other immigration matters, there are additional actions that are necessary.
The approval of the form in most cases qualifies the relative to apply for permanent resident status. In the event the relative is already in the US, the filing of Form I-485 can begin the process of requesting a Green Card. That can be done through consular processing if your relative is outside the US, or you can apply for adjustment of status if you are already in the US.
Although the approval process for having an immediate relative join you in the US at first appears simple at first glance, the reality of the situation is quite different. Indeed, completing and filing Form I-130 is simply the beginning of a more complex process – that can either be successful or unsuccessful; and that can take a relatively brief time or an unreasonably long one – depending upon how well your case is handled. This, in turn, will depend upon whether you have the right immigration attorney at your side.
Phoenix Family Visa Petition Lawyer
If you are seeking to have a loved one join you in the United States, there is help available. At Castañeda Immigration Law, we handle a host of immigration matters, including helping those who seek to be reunited in the United States with their close relatives abroad. As an experienced Phoenix immigration law firm, we can turn a process that may look nearly impossible into one that provides you with the greatest chance of success.
In addition to our legal expertise, our firm cares about its clients. We know the heartbreak of families being separated and kept apart because of rules that seem to change on almost a daily basis. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible service so that you and your loved ones can be reunited with each other, legally and as quickly as possible, in the United States. Call us for more information