Family Visas Attorney in Florida
There are many different ways to immigrate to the U.S. If you have family in the country, you might be eligible for a family visa. Whether you or a loved one are interested in family visas in Florida, there are a few things you should know.
Here at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, we can explain the process and walk you through it. Contact our office to learn more about the steps you need to take for successful results.
The Types of Family Visas in Florida
The type of family visa for which you apply depends on your relationship with the U.S. citizen. If you want a successful visa application, you need to choose the right type of visa. Here’s an overview of the different visas:
1. K-1 Fiancée Visa
This visa is appropriate for individuals who are engaged to a U.S. citizen. With this visa, the non-citizen can enter the country and marry the citizen.
There is one major requirement for this visa. The engaged couple must marry within 90 days from the time the citizen enters the country. After the marriage, the visa holder needs to apply for a green card, which gives them permanent resident status.
2. K-3 Spouse Visa
If you are a non-citizen and are already married to a U.S. citizen, you could apply for a K-3 visa. Also known as a spouse visa, this document allows you to enter the country to join your spouse. It’s a temporary visa that buys you time while you wait for approval of your I-130 Immigrant Petition.
3. Immediate Relative Visa
You can apply for a visa if you are a spouse, unmarried child, or parent of an American citizen. Unlike some other types of visas, this one is not limited to a certain number of individuals.
4. Family Preference Visa
With this type of visa, a relative of a green card holder can enter the country. Only the spouse and unmarried children of the individual can apply. However, this visa also applies to the family of U.S. citizens. The married children and siblings of U.S. citizens can enter the country on the family preference visa.
Unlike the Immediate Relative Visa, this one is limited. Therefore, many applicants must wait for approval of this visa application. You could wait months or years for approval. The length of the wait depends on your relationship with the citizen or green card holder.
If you are the unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and you are over 21, you are known as the first preference. Individuals who are unmarried, under 21, and the spouses or children of permanent residences are the second preference (F2). Meanwhile, individuals who are unmarried, over 21, and are the sons and daughters of permanent residents are another category of second preference (F2B preference).
The married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens are third preference or F3. Finally, the siblings of U.S. citizens who are over the age of 21 are fourth preference (F4).
The Application Process
Before you begin the application process, you need to choose the right visa. This could mean speaking to an immigration attorney. They can help you determine your eligibility for the visa.
After making the right choice, you need to coordinate with your relative. Your U.S. relative needs to be the one to file the immigration petition. If you want a K-1 visa, you need to have them file the Form I-129F. However, all other family visas require the Form I-130. Whatever visa you apply for, it’s crucial that the application includes your supporting documents.
That isn’t the extent of the paperwork. While your relative must submit your visa application to the USCIS, you need to submit forms to the Department of the State. You also need to schedule an interview with a U.S. embassy or consulate in your own country. If you are under 14 or over 79, you may not need the interview.
At the interview, you must provide several documents. For one, you need a valid passport that remains valid for a minimum of six months after you leave your country. You also need the confirmation page from your Non-immigrant Visa Application.
The interview is NOT free of charge. If you need to pay for it before the interview, you must bring your receipt. Additionally, you need all of the following:
- Necessary civil documents
- Affidavit of support from your U.S. relative
- Completed medical exam form
In some cases, they may require other records. For instance, you might need residence records, criminal records, or evidence of your relationship with the U.S. relative.
The interview occurs in your own country at the U.S. consulate or embassy. During your interview, the officer will determine your eligibility. To do so, they will review your documentation and ask you questions about your history.
If approved, they may require you to pick up the visa at their office. They also may require you to pay a fee.
Family Visa Extensions
Although other types of visas often require extensions, the process isn’t common for most family visas. Typically, family visas are permanent visas that grant green cards.
There are some exceptions. If you apply for a K-3 or K-4 visa, the visa is only temporary. To extend this type of visa, you need to file a Form I-539. You can only do so if your application for the I-130 petition or a similar application is pending. If you haven’t yet filed your I-130, you may still be able to extend. However, you will need to have a good reason for failing to file the application sooner.
Another temporary family visa is the K-1. But these visas cannot be extended. This is because the visa requires you to apply for an adjustment of immigration status after you marry your spouse.
Getting Help Through the Process
In 2017, 4,379,341 individuals in Florida were born in other countries. Between 2013 and 2017, about 52.9% of Florida’s population was foreign-born. There are many immigrants in the area, and many more to come.
If you need help through the process, contact us at the Florida Immigration Law Counsel. We can explain your options and help you get the results you want.