What are the Qualifications for Family-Based Petitions in Arizona?
Traditional family-based visas are one way to bring family members together, but there are other methods. Different programs are in place depending on your specific situation and where the other family members are located. Because of this, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable Arizona immigration attorney.
When you have an expert attorney working with you, all methods to bring your family together will be considered. You can gain a better understanding of Arizona Immigration Law and all your options and which solution might work best for you. Immigration can be a complicated process but you don’t have to handle it on your own. Work with an attorney to learn all your options before moving forward.
Understanding the Two Types of Family-Based Arizona Immigration Visas
Two distinct types of visas can be used for people with family members in the United States. Which one will apply in your situation will depend on many factors. The first type is the immediate family visa, while the other is a family preference visa. Below is information about the differences between the two.
Immediate Relative Family-Based Visa
There’s a huge perk with the immediate relative vis. There are no limits associated with these visas, while the same is not true for the other type. However, not everyone will qualify for this form of visa. You will need to meet the criteria below to be considered:
- Parent of a US citizen who is over 21 years of age
- Spouse or widow/widower of a US citizen
- Unmarried children under 21 years old of a US citizen
Family Preference Family-Based Visa
Family preference visas are for specific but more distant family relationships with a citizen of the United States. Under the Arizona Immigration Law, Some visas may also be provided to those who have relationships with lawful permanent residents. However, what really differentiates these visas is that only a certain amount is given out each year.
There are four subsections for family preference visas, which include the following:
First Family Preference
- Children over the age of 21
- Siblings of a US citizen
Second Family Preference
- Minor children of legal residents
- Spouses of legal residents
- Unmarried children over the age of 20 of legal residents and their children
Third Family Preference
- Married children of US citizens
- Their children and spouses
Fourth Family Preference
- Siblings of US citizens
- Their children and spouses as long as the citizen is 21 or older
First family preference individuals have no waiting period to claim a visa. The same is not true for those in the other categories. It may take a period of years for a visa to become available.
If an immigrant is relying on their permanent resident or American relatives to get a visa, the needed form is I-130, also known as the Immigrant Petition from Relative form. Once this has been properly filled out and any needed documentation is available, it will be sent to Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and a notice of approval (form I-797) will be provided. The petition is then sent on to the Immigrant Visa Processing Center for further steps.
In addition to the visa application, the relative who is sponsoring the immigrant will be required to submit an Affidavit of Support (form I-864). This relative will need to prove that they can financially support any sponsored family members at 125% above the poverty line.
What Makes Someone Ineligible for US Visas
In some cases, an application will not be issued a visa from US immigration services. This includes but is not limited to:
- Individuals with communicable diseases like tuberculosis
- Drug addicts
- Anyone diagnosed with dangerous mental or physical disorders
- Immigrants who have committed an aggravated felony
- People on a terrorist list or who are associated with a subversive group or terrorist organization
If a physician wishes to practice medicine in the United States, an exam is required to be qualified for a visa. However, doctors can choose to apply for a waiver, as well.
If you or a family member wants to receive citizenship or legal resident status in the United States, it’s crucial to have an Arizona immigration lawyer help you with the process. Many offer a free consultation where you can learn what your options are and how you should move forward.
How Long Do Family Petitions Typically Process in Arizona?
Since family-related petitions are one of the most common to reach USCIS offices, it isn’t something that happens overnight. However, it also doesn’t have to take too long when you have knowledgeable legal counsel and everything is prepared correctly the first time. Every person will have a different situation so processing times will vary, but understanding the process can give you more insight into what happens.
First, the USCIS office will receive the petition. Once that happens, they will go over it and make sure it’s fully complete. If that’s the case, a receipt notice will be provided to you. This simply means that the entire application made it to the office.
If there is something incomplete, missing, or lost, one of two things will occur. They may return the application in full or they may reach out and ask you to complete what was not finished. In either case, this can make the process significantly longer.
After you have the receipt notice, your application will be placed in a line to be reviewed in full. This is when the real wait starts. As we mentioned earlier, some relatives will have a higher priority, which means they will be at the top of the stack. This is especially true if the office going through the application is backed up or behind. Wait times for this can range from a few weeks to several months.
After the I-130 is approved, you can expect to receive an official notice. At this point, you have an additional wait time. Everything from visa approval to consular processing and adjustment of status takes time. While this can vary from one person to the next, it’s not uncommon to wait several weeks to months.
Unfortunately, the immigration system is almost always backed up, which means you’ll be waiting for a while to complete the process. This is another reason it’s useful to have an experienced Arizona attorney to help you. The process can be tedious and it’s not unheard of for documents to be misplaced or delays to go longer than usual without any communication from the officials working with your paperwork.
When you have a dedicated immigration attorney available, you have a much better chance of being pushed through the backlog. This ensures your petition keeps going through the system and you eventually receive an answer. Your attorney can keep you updated on any changes through the process so you stay up to date on what is going on.
Why Choose an Experienced Immigration Lawyer in Arizona
Now that you know Arizona immigration law for family-based petitions, you might be tempted to try to handle it all on your own. This is not a good idea. While it might seem simple to fill out an application, the process goes further than that. Every element of the packet has to be completed correctly and fully the first time.
This applies not just to the forms you fill out, but also to all the documentation that is included with your case. It needs to be persuasive and organized, and it must be sent to the correct USCIS immigration office. Since this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, you want everything to be done correctly.
The good news is that there’s no reason to handle this process by yourself. Having an experienced Arizona immigration attorney can make all the difference. This person understands the weight of the process and what it could mean for not just you but the people you love.
Selecting an attorney with experience with family-based petitions can take some of the stress off of you. It also gives you peace of mind that every step of the process will be done correctly. With many people choosing to apply for immigration status based on family members, the right attorney could ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Speak with an Experienced Arizona Immigration Attorney
There are a lot of important details related to Arizona Immigration Law for family-based visas to live in the United States. With two types of visas, and one having four different priority levels, things can get complicated fast. Without an Arizona immigration attorney, it’s easy to miss something or make mistakes. This can lead to waiting even longer for a process that can already be extended.
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Diamondback Legal is available to help you with immigration petitions and other related needs. We understand how complex the processes are and how intimidating they can be. If you are looking to petition for a stay or entry into the United States, we’re here to help you. We have the expertise and experience to help with all kinds of immigration petitions, including family-based ones. No matter your situation, you can rely on us to handle your petition needs. To get started or learn more about the process, reach out to us at 602-726-2045.