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Before immigrant relatives of U.S. Citizens and LPRs (and their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21) can immigrate to the U.S., a petition with all required documents must be filed on their behalf by a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent residence (LPR) and approved by the USCIS. Approved petitions are sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for the rest of the application processing, except for the final interview with the applicant, which is conducted at the consulate.

Immediate relatives may immediately apply for a visa once the petition is approved, whereas family preference relatives must wait until a visa becomes available. See
Green Cards through Family. When a visa number is available, the immigrant relative must submit required documentation to the NVC with the application fee along with the petitioner’s Affidavit of Support as evidence that the immigrant relative will not become a public charge. The petitioner must be domiciled in the U.S. and must have an income equal to at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines or have significant assets to be able to sponsor the immigrant relative. If the petitioner cannot meet the income requirement, he/she may obtain a co-sponsor who has sufficient income.

Once all documents have been properly submitted, the NVC will schedule an interview with an appropriate consulate. At the interview, the consular officer will review the application and determine the immigrant relative’s eligibility. If the consul approves the application, an immigrant visa will be issued and the immigrant relative will be able to enter the U.S. and, if the immigration officer at the boarder determines that the immigrant is eligible for permanent residence, the immigrant will shortly be issued a green card.

Call us now for a legal consultation to find out how we can help to guide you through this complicated and lengthy process and save you a lot of time and money.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​  Family-based Visas