Family Based Petitions
The United States government created a number of ways for citizens and legal residents of the United States to petition visas for relatives. Depending on the type of family relationships, visas may be available immediately or take many years. For those that need to wait for a visa to be available, time only starts counting once a petition has been filed. Note that for the vast majority of situations, the relative may not wait in the United States until the visa becomes available, unless they have legal status.
There are implications to filing a family-based petition. For example, it may pose an obstacle for the beneficiary relative to obtain nonimmigrant visas to the United States, such as tourist or student visas. Additionally, availability of visa is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued, since USCIS takes other factors in consideration, such as prior immigration violations. If you have questions regarding a possible petition for a relative, please contact us.