As an immigration lawyer for 30 years I most often hear the following 4 questions from immigrants looking to reunite with their family members.
When you are looking to reunite your family, you are looking for speed and a minimum of hassles. Yet, for better or worse, immigration based on a family relationship is a difficult and complex area of immigration law.
Here are answers to 4 of the most frequently asked family immigration questions:
Is there a cap on family based immigration?
It depends on the category of sponsorship. There are caps in certain areas and no limitation under other categories. Furthermore, if an applicant does not qualify as an immediate relative, they may apply under one of four categories. Experienced immigration attorneys are invaluable in family based immigration because they understand the shifting landscape of immigration law and can frequently speed-up the immigration process.
Is it better to process an application for my fiancee in the United States or in his/her country of residence?
While it is better to process an application in the U.S., be aware that as a general policy, the USCIS carefully scrutinizes the "spouse" family-sponsored preference category because of the opportunity for immigration fraud through forms of invalid and nonviable marriages.
If my loved one is currently living abroad, how soon can they come over to the U.S?
The critical question here is whether you entered the U.S. legally. If yes, an attorney can help you make decisions on the best approach for them to enter the U.S. If you are here, illegally, an attorney cannot help you with an entry visa but can discuss the latest regulations under amnesty or guest worker options.
I have older parents and I am becoming concerned about them. How can I take care of them?
The most straightforward way is to start with a visa process. Your parents can come to visit you for 6 months on a visitor visa as an example.
What is the value of U.S. citizenship versus remaining a permanent resident?
There are many advantages to U.S. citizenship and one of the benefits is that U.S. citizens can sponsor their parents (short wait) or brothers/sisters (very long wait) for immigration but permanent residents cannot. There is no waiting period for a U.S. Citizen to sponsor a spouse.
You probably have plenty of additional questions regarding family, spouse and fiance' immigration and are not sure where to turn. Relax! You can download a more detailed and informative report on family immigration for free at Chicago Immigration Lawyer Family Immigration.
For a large list of other free immigration resources you can visit Immigration Lawyer Chicago.