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There are many ways to immigrate to the United States. One common way is to apply for entry based on having family here. This process varies depending on certain facts specific to your case. A Vermont immigration lawyer can help you understand your options.
Family-Based Immigration Process From Outside the U.S.
U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs) can file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) to request LPR status for their foreign relatives. The processing time for this petition depends partly on the relationship. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can usually get approval within a few months. Immediate relatives are:
- Minor children
Priority dates are assigned to applications for spouses and children of LPRs. These dates are based on visa availability. For more distant relatives of citizens, visas may be years away. You will get a notice of approval or denial when the date gets close.
You can file for your immigrant visa once your petition is approved. You will need a medical exam, and have an interview at the U.S. consulate serving your home country. You must enter the U.S. with your immigrant visa before it expires, usually after six months. After arrival, you will receive your permanent resident's card, commonly known as the green card.
Family-Based Immigration Process While Living in the U.S.
If you are already in the U.S. on a valid temporary visa, you may be able to become a legal permanent resident by using a process called adjustment of status:
- A family member files Form I-130 on your behalf.
- Processing time is based on the relationship.
- You file your adjustment of status request (Form I-485) after approval.
- Immediate family members of citizens may file both Form I-130 and Form I-485 at the same time.
You will also need to be fingerprinted and possibly have an interview with U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). If approved, you will receive your green card without having to leave the U.S.
Locate a Local Vermont Immigration Lawyer Today
The immigration process can be very confusing. You need to file the right paperwork at the right time and go to all your appointments. A trained attorney can help you get it right. Call now to speak with an immigration attorney in Vermont at 877-913-7222.