If you have a family living in the USA as a permanent resident, you may be eligible to be sponsored to come and work or live in the States, this process is known as visa petitioning. In this article, you would come to understand everything about USA Visa Petition for immigrants, and also how to apply to become one.
Below is everything we would be discussing in this article:
- What you need to know about the USA Visa Petition
- Family-Based Visa Petition
- Process for a USA Visa Petition
- Important Tips to note
- How to Get Started
What you need to know about the USA Visa Petition
The USA Visa petition was established for the purpose of helping immigrants that desire to come to the United States through petitioning. A petitioner helps the immigrants as well as proves that he/she is able to sponsor the person coming into the country. In most cases, it might be a family member petitioning for a relative.
In this case, the family member has to present proof of relationship (birth certificate or any legal document that proves his relationship with the immigrant)
In other cases it might be a company petitioning for an employee, they would have to prove that a labor certificate was granted which shows they can actually employ you. The company would need to provide an attached list of degrees or certifications required for the job including tax returns.
After this is considered, they would need to decide how to proceed with the application; either they go through the consulate outside the U.S. or through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Family Based Visa Petition
In this section, we would briefly look at what is called a family-based visa petition. This is considered one of the most common visa petition types for immigrants coming into the United States.
The family-based petition allows individuals in the U.S. to sponsor their families to immigrate to the United States. This is supported by the Nationality Act which allows for the immigration of foreigners to the United States based on a relationship with a U.S Citizen or legal permanent resident.
Now depending on the situation, you might be eligible to apply for a U.S. green card or work visa using the family-based visa petition for having a relative living in the U.S. as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Family Based Visa Petition Categories
There are two groups of families based on visa categories:
- Immediate Relative
- Family Preference
Immediate Relative (IR)
This category of visa is based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen. They can be further grouped into 5 visas.
- IR-1: For spouses of a United States Citizen
- IR-2 Unmarried child under 21 years of age of a United States Citizen
- IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a United States Citizen
- IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a United States citizen
- IR-5: Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age.
If you fall into any of the categories listed above, you are eligible to apply for a USA permanent visa or work visa based on the family-based visa petition.
The categories of visa are for a more specific and distant relationship with the U.S. citizen:
- Family First Preference 1: For unmarried sons and daughters of USA citizens and their little children.
- Family Second Preference 2: For spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters under the age of 21.
- Family Third Preference: For married sons and daughters of USA citizens and their spouses and little children.
- Family Fourth Preference: For brothers and sisters of USA Citizens and their spouses and little children.
Process for a USA Visa Petition
The first step you need to take when applying for a USA Visa petition to get a green card or work visa, either through the family-based petition or company-based petition is after they file the petition, your sponsor who is known as a petitioner and you the beneficiary gets the ball rolling for the process to start.
If it’s a family-based petition, they would need to fill out a Petition for Alien Relative (I-130). After that, the USCIS makes a decision on the visa petition and the family waits until a visa becomes available.
Note that relative that is not considered immediate are not eligible for permanent residence right away. This is because there are limits to the number of green cards given out each year. Such immigrants would then be put on a waiting list.
If the petition was approved, and the visa is available, the person can then submit an application for permanent residence after they have applied for the immigrant visa or work visa and already living in the U.S.
Important Tips to note
Below are some of the important tips to note when processing a USA Visa Petition to get a green card or immigrant visa:
- Be prepared to wait: If you are not a close relative to the person sponsoring/petitioning for you in the U.S, then you are placed on a waiting list by the USCIS. This is because there is a limited amount of green issued each year. But if you are a close relative, there are no limits to the amount of green card offered.
- Close Relative gets a higher Priority: Close relatives such as brothers, parents, sisters, spouses, or minors of the US citizen have a higher priority and are processed much faster than relatives that are not close to the U.S. citizen.
How to Get Started
To get started, your sponsor/petitioner needs to write a visa petition. You can do this by contacting an immigration attorney or the State Department Websites for more information.