Family-Based Visa Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale
Attorneys Dedicated to Resolving Your Immigration Needs
A U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident may wish to sponsor their immediate relative(s) for a green card (lawful permanent residency). At Stok Kon + Braverman, our lawyers have assisted many individuals who have sought to bring a loved one to the United States.
Applying for a Family-Based Visa
First, the U.S. Citizen or green card holder must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. This petition must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In order to be approved, the petitioner must establish the relationship with the non-citizen relative that they wish to sponsor. In the case of a marriage-based visa, the petitioner and the beneficiary spouse must establish that the marriage is a bona fide marriage, and not a marriage entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit. For other family-based visas, birth certificates and other types of documents establishing the parent/child or sibling relationship will be necessary. The visa process will differ depending on whether the foreign family member already resides in this country or is awaiting processing outside of the U.S. For those beneficiaries who are inside of the U.S. at the time of filing, they will have an interview scheduled at their local USCIS office. For those family members remaining outside of the U.S., their interviews will be scheduled at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country (or country of legal residence) to complete the process.
Individuals who may be eligible to be processed in the immediate relative category include spouses, unmarried children of a U.S. citizen who are under 21, orphans adopted abroad by a citizen, orphans to be adopted by a citizen, and a parent of a citizen who is at least 21. Children who are over the age of 21 or who are married, as well as brothers and sisters, are still eligible for family preference, but are subject to an annual cap.
Other options may include a K-1, K-2, or K-3 visa. U.S. citizens can use a K-1 visa to bring their foreign national fiancé to the United States for the purpose of marriage. The citizen must marry the foreign national within 90 days of their arrival. After the couple is married, the non-citizen can seek an adjustment of status from USCIS to become a permanent resident of the United States.
A K-2 visa enables a fiancé of a U.S. citizen to bring their unmarried children into this country if they are under the age of 21. Thus, this status is designed for the non-citizen’s dependents to enter and reside in the U.S. lawfully. A lawyer can advise you on whether this status is appropriate for your situation.
An American citizen’s spouse may be able to receive a K-3 visa, which is another means of applying for a green card for a spouse through consular processing. The K-3 visa usually takes less time to process than a standalone I-130, but costs more in the long run, as the foreign national spouse will have to file for their adjustment of status when they arrive in the U.S.
The attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman use their nuanced understanding of the law to offer valuable insights to clients throughout Broward County. Our firm works hard to make the process as easy as possible for the individuals and businesses that enlist our services. We believe in keeping an open line of communication with our clients, and we encourage them to candidly share their questions and concerns.