An immediate relative is someone related to a U.S. citizen, or a lawful permanent resident who is a green card holder. There are different kinds of relatives, but only certain relatives of citizens and green card holders apply. The most popular type of immediate relative is a spouse or a child under 21 years of age. Also, immediate relatives may include the parents of a U.S. citizen who is over the age of 21. Immediate relatives have priority over other relatives and they can get a visa to come to the United States and obtain lawful permanent residence. If you are wanting to apply, reach out to a seasoned lawyer who is knowledgeable about immediate relative visas in St. Louis. A dedicated family visa attorney could help you with the process and answer your questions along the way.

Conditional Permanent Resident Visa

A conditional permanent residency is a temporary two-year green card given to the spouses of U.S. citizens or green card holders if the marriage is less than two years old. The Immigration Services wants to reduce marital fraud in the immigration context. Therefore, a person who is married for a short time receives a two-year green card. At the end of those two years, the individual submits additional evidence to show that the marriage is ongoing.

In the 90 days before the two-year anniversary of the conditional green card, a spouse of the U.S. citizen and the U.S. citizen, or green card holder, submits the I-751 form along with additional marital evidence to show they are still married. If the I-751 is approved, the couple is notified and the foreign national receives a 10-year permanent green card.

Why Someone May Not Be Issues an Immediate Relative Visa

An individual may not be issued an immediate relative visa in St. Louis if they cannot establish the relationship through birth certificates, marriage certificates, or other government documents. If a person does not convince Immigration Services that the relationship is valid, the immediate relative petition is denied. The adjustment of status that goes along with that can also be denied if the foreign national is a criminal or has fallen out of status in various contexts. Another reason that people are denied is because their time in the United States involved working without authorization, traveling without authorization, or staying in the country without authorization.

Common Mistakes When Applying for Immediate Relative Visas

Mistakes made by people trying to complete the process of applying for immediate relative visas in St. Louis often involve sending the wrong documents. Many times, the right documents are not signed, the proper filing fee is not submitted, not enough evidence was submitted to establish the relationship, or not enough proof was provided to establish that the person is deserving of the visa. Sometimes individuals do not update their address or do not respond to a request for evidence quickly enough.

Also, some people think they understand complex immigration law and try to navigate through tricky situations. Immigration lawyers with extensive immigration experience spend a great deal of time tracking down the actual law supporting why they believe an individual is eligible for the visa or the application. It is unlikely that someone not trained in immigration law can successfully navigate the immigration visa process.

Length of the Process

The time it takes to complete the immediate relative visa in St. Louis process is about a year to obtain an adjustment of status. If the person is in the United States, it can take up to eight or nine months to get an interview. After the interview, it may take a month or two to receive a green card. For a person coming from overseas and it is an immediate relative coming through an embassy, the case will be approved first by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which takes about seven or eight months. Once the USCIS approves the immigrant visa petition, the petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for immigrant visa pre-processing, which takes three or four months. After the National Visa Center approves the case, it is then sent to the embassy for another two or three months of processing. Currently, it takes about 12 to 14 months for an immediate relative to get a visa to come to the United States and obtain lawful permanent resident status.

If you have any questions regarding immediate relative visas in St. Louis, contact a well-trained lawyer today.