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Deciding Which Visa Suits Your Needs in Wake County

 Posted on July 12, 2022 in Immigration

wake county immigration lawyerAs a nation of immigrants, the United States welcomed 855,000 new citizens in 2021. Whether it be for education, employment opportunities, or family reunification, foreign nationals continue to relocate to the U.S. on both a temporary and permanent basis. Petitioning for a visa can be complex and time-consuming. The process can be even more confusing as there are so many different kinds of visas, each with its own distinct regulatory paperwork. 

An immigration lawyer can help guide you through the visa application process. If you need a student visa or a visa that will begin your path toward citizenship, an immigration lawyer can determine the suitable visa for your needs.

Difference between Non-immigrant and Immigrant Visas

Non-immigrant visas – These include but are not limited to student, tourist, and employment visas, which foreign citizens obtain to enter and temporarily reside in or travel throughout the U.S.  

Immigrant visas – These visas include Employer-Sponsored and Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored visas, with the latter being the most popular. There are several subcategories within these visas, such as K-visas, known as the "fiancé visas," which are obtained by Lawful Permanent residents (LPRs) engaged to U.S. citizens. LPRs are issued a green card once they attain residency. 

Two Types of Immigrant-Based Family Visas 

Within these family-based immigrant visas, there are provisions as to who a U.S. citizen can petition to sponsor and who an LPR can petition to sponsor. While U.S. citizens can sponsor spouses, children, parents, and siblings, LPRs are only eligible to sponsor spouses or unmarried children.

Immediate relative visas - Applicable to close intermediate family members of a U.S. citizen sponsor, these visas permit immediate relatives to enter and permanently reside in the U.S. Unlike other visas, there is no limit on the number allocated annually. Immediate relatives could include parents, siblings, a spouse, and unmarried children under 21 years of age. Although attainable, there are still many prerequisites before a visa is granted.

  • The sponsor must file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130).

  • Documents, like birth certificates, must be provided to validate the relationship between the sponsor and foreign national.

  • If the foreign national is the sponsor’s spouse, the marriage must be proven authentic and not under the pretense of obtaining the visa.

  • A foreign spouse is only permitted a two-year residency if the marriage to the sponsor is less than two years. 

  • The sponsor must prove through an affidavit that the foreign national will not need government assistance.

Family preference visas – Unlike immediate relative visas, the U.S. government annually limits family preference visas. These visas are applicable to distant families who have relationships with a U.S. citizen or an LPR, also known as a green card holder. There is a hierarchal category of preferences to which the US citizen or LDR can apply.

  • First Preference (F1) – a US citizen’s unmarried adult children who are at least 21 years of age

  • Second preference (F2A) – an LDR’s spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age

  • Third preference (F3) – a US citizen’s married children

  • Fourth preference (F4) – the siblings of a US citizen who is 21 years or older

Contact a Wake County Immigration Lawyer

At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, our immigration attorneys and team of professionals treat our clients with compassion and dignity. With a combined 35 years of experience, we are dedicated to aggressively advocating for favorable outcomes for our clients. We are proficient in immigration law and understand the complexities of petitioning for visas. If you or your loved ones are pursuing family immigrant visas, contact a Raleigh immigration attorney for a free consultation at 407-955-5000 or 844-967-3536. 





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