In this article, you will discover:
- The factors that determine how long it takes to get a visa.
- The hierarchy of prioritization immigration authorities have with regard to visas.
- What an immediate relative visa is.
How Long Does It Usually Take For Eligible Family Members To Get Visas When Immigrating To The United States?
How long your family member’s visa takes to be issued depends on your status, their relationship to you, the petitioner, and the country they immigrate from.
Whether you are an American citizen or a non-resident alien affects your family member’s visa processing time. United States immigration tends to prioritize cases where citizens petition for a non-citizen over those where a lawful permanent resident is petitioning for another non-citizen.
Relationships are categorized in various ways by immigration authorities. Generally, immigration prioritizes immediate relatives over other relationships. Immigration further has a hierarchy it uses to prioritize relationships that are not immediate. Immediate relatives include:
- U.S. citizen spouses;
- Adult U.S. citizen children.
The term “immediate” is used because the visa is immediately available as there is no limit to the number of these visas that the government issues yearly as opposed to a capped lottery visa, for example. Thus, there is no backlog. The term in this context does not refer to the speed at which the visa petition is approved.
The order of priority for non-immediate relatives is:
- Unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen;
- Spouses and children (under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;
- Unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents;
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
- Siblings of U.S. citizens.
Individuals from China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines, are subject to a greater backlog with their family-based visa cases due to how many people from these countries are already in the United States.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Based Visa Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.