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What is a family-based immigration visa?

People in the United States who have family members overseas might decide that they want to help their loved ones get a family-based immigration visa so they can enjoy the U.S. In that situation, there are a lot of questions that come up about the family-based immigration program that some of our Texas readers might like to know the answer to, especially when it comes to different types of visas.

What is the family preference immigrant visa?

Family preference immigrant visas are one type of visa you might hear about. This type of immigration visa is limited, which means that when the number of qualified applicants is greater than the number available, there is a waiting list established. Those visas are issued in chronological order based on the priority date, or filing date, of the application.

What is the immediate relative immigrant visa?

The second type of family-based immigration visa is the immediate relative immigrant visa, which isn't limited in number. There are five situations in which this type of visa can be requested. The parent of a U.S. citizen who has reached the age of 21, an orphan who is being adopted in the U.S. by a citizen of the U.S., an orphan adopted by a U.S. citizen when the adoption occurs abroad, the spouse of a U.S. citizen and an unmarried, under 21 child of a U.S. citizen.

There are several other aspects of the family-based immigration process that you might have questions about. Many situations are handled based on specific criteria based on the circumstances. For this reason, it is vital that anyone fully understand everything from sponsor needs to paperwork requirements.

Source: U.S. Department of State, "Family-Based Immigrant Visas" accessed Mar. 13, 2015

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