If a close family member of yours is already a United States citizen, you could potentially immigrate to the U.S. by having them sponsor you for an immediate relative visa. This option for family-based immigration could be significantly easier than seeking a family preference visa. This is because there is no preference order for different applicants and no artificial limit placed on how many visas U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can issue each fiscal year.

However, acquiring immediate relative visas in Washington DC could still be challenging in procedural and practical senses without guidance from a qualified legal team. An experienced immigration attorney could work on your behalf to ensure you complete all necessary steps of the application process and provide all the information you need to maximize your odds of a positive outcome.

Qualifying to Apply for an Immediate Relative Visa

Immediate relative visas are available to the following relatives of U.S. citizens:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under 21 years old
  • Parents—if their U.S. citizen child is over 21 years old
  • Widows, widowers, and fiancé(e)s

More distant family members of citizens and immediate family members of lawful permanent residents must apply for family preference visas instead. Qualifying family members in Washington DC may seek an immediate relative visa or a green card from inside or outside U.S. borders. Individuals applying from foreign nations generally must go through Consular Processing, which adds several additional steps to their application process. Applicants already in the United States must have entered the U.S. lawfully, inspected by a U.S. immigration officer upon entry, and “admitted” or “paroled” by that officer.

What are the Steps of the Application Process?

If a prospective immediate relative visa recipient has not already had a Form I-130 filed on their behalf by their sponsoring family member, that person must do so before the prospective recipient may begin the application process. This step is required in all cases where a visa applicant has not yet lawfully entered the United States.

An applicant who is already in the United States legally may file Form I-485 alongside their family member’s filing of Form I-130. Alternatively, applicants inside or outside of U.S. borders may file Form I-485 along with a copy of the Form I-787 they receive upon approval of the Form I-130 which was filed on their behalf.

Regardless of what preliminary steps, forms, and pieces of documentation are necessary, the last step of the immediate relative visa application process in Washington DC is the interview that takes place at a USCIS field office or the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. A proactive immigration attorney experienced with pursuing this type of family-based visa could provide essential guidance and support throughout every step of application proceedings.

Consult a Washington DC Attorney to Help with Pursuing a Visa

While immediate relative visas are comparatively easier to obtain than family preference visas in some cases, that does not mean successfully applying for one is a simple endeavor. You may need to provide extensive evidence of your qualifications for this visa and undergo a lengthy application process to get the approval you need to lawfully enter and remain in the United States.

Our team has helped individuals just like you acquire immediate relative visas in Washington DC many times before. Call today to learn more about your immigration options.