Strak Immigration Law

Family Based Visa

The FAMILY BASED VISA SYSTEM permits the immediate relatives of United States citizens to immigrate without waiting in a quota or preference line. Mere marriage to a United States citizen or permanent resident does not automatically create resident status in the United States. The United States relative must file a petition on behalf of the foreign relative, and the foreign relative must undergo an interview by the United States government for admissibility to the United States as an immigrant. However, less immediate ties than a spouse or parent of a United States citizen require that a person apply for his visa through one or more of a series of categories which mayor may not be current at the time the person's application is approved. A United States citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to immigrate a relative.

There are FOUR basic categories of family preference:

First: adult sons and daughters of United States citizens;
Second: spouses, and adult sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents or green card holders;
Third: married children of United States citizens; and
Fourth: brothers and sisters of United States citizens.

A bulletin is issued monthly by the United States Department of State showing the status of the various visa categories in relation to the preferences for the world-wide countries which have not over-subscribed the system as well as a breakdown for those countries which are oversubscribed. There are varying waiting periods in these categories, depending on the backlog of prior applications on a world-wide basis and on a per country basis in the case of certain high demand countries. These waits are unpredictable, and can change from month to month, since the waiting line depends upon the number of people with earlier priority dates on their approved applications who actually complete the process when the time comes that the visa is available.