By nature, families are often dynamic and complex, even more so when multiple nationalities are represented within one family. Multicultural families are extremely common in Bellevue, WA, where immigrant populations flourish and help the city to prosper. Ensuring that your international family is located in one place can often be very difficult. Between navigating visa applications and adjusting the immigration status of your loved ones, family immigration issues are a frequent issue that we see at ZafiroLaw. Fortunately, an experienced Bellevue family immigration lawyer from our team is able to help. Consider contacting our office today at (206) 309-9645 to learn more about how we can serve you.
Bellevue, WA: Home to a Diverse Immigrant Population
A bustling city in the Eastside region of King County, Bellevue is home to nearly 150,000 residents. Of these residents, approximately 76% are United States citizens. With immigrants making up a quarter of the Bellevue population, these residents are a key contributor to the growth of the city. In fact, the City of Bellevue confirms this, reporting that since 2010, immigrants have comprised about 73% of the city’s growth. With more and more individuals from abroad finding a home in Bellevue, the city has been enjoying the fruits of cultural diversification and new perspectives.
What Is Family Immigration?
There are several possible avenues to relocate to the United States, one of which being family immigration. Family immigration allows the family members of United States citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents to obtain a Green Card based on their relationship. Under family immigration, there are two different types of visas, namely:
- Immediate Relative: based on the close familial relationship with a United States citizen. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers spouses, children, and parents to be immediate relatives. For these visas, the number awarded per year is unlimited.
- Family Preference: this category is based on certain, more distant familial relationships with either a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card holder). United States citizens can petition for their spouse, children, parents, or siblings. Lawful Permanent Residents, however, are only able to petition for their spouse or unmarried child. The number of family preference visas awarded every year is limited.
Family immigration is an ideal option for individuals who wish to begin a new life in the United States with their loved ones. To begin the process, the United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident must file a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with the USCIS. This form establishes the familial relationship and includes all the necessary information to start the family immigration process.
An experienced Bellevue family immigration lawyer from the ZafiroLaw team offers tailored services to individuals trying to reunite with their loved ones in the United States. After spending years handling complex and difficult family immigration cases, we understand the common pitfalls that applicants fall into. Therefore, we offer legal guidance to help individuals secure the following visas for their family members.
Fiancé Visas (K-1)
The K-1 fiancé visa is a nonimmigrant visa offered to foreign-born fiancés of United States citizens. Here, the visa holder is permitted to travel to the United States for 90 days to marry his or her U.S. citizen fiancé. After the marriage, the individual may apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident in the United States. K-1 visas differ from other visas because they require that the applicant marries the petitioner within a specified time frame. If this requirement is not met, the visa is revoked. To obtain a K-1 fiancé visa, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship and confirmation that the petitioner will financially support the foreign-citizen fiancé in the United States.
Marriage-Based Green Cards
After two years of marriage to a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, it is possible to apply for r permanent residency and obtain a 10 year Green Card. Spouses of United States citizens can apply for an immediate relative visa, while spouses of Lawful Permanent Residents are required to use the family preference route. Applying for a marriage-based Green Card is a highly complex process with an extensive list of required documents and paperwork, leading many individuals to seek assistance from Bellevue family immigration lawyers.
Child and Parent Visas
If you are currently living in the United States and have parents or children who are not with you, you may wish to bring your family members here for employment, healthcare, or other reasons.
For these situations, the IR-5 parent visa and the IR-2 child visa are valuable options. It is important to note that these visas must be applied for while the parent or child is living outside of the United States.
Spousal Visas (IR-1 and CR-1)
The IR-1 and CR-1 are two types of visas that grant permanent residence to the spouses of United States citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. The IR-1 visa is available for couples who have been married for over two years at the time of application, while the CR-1 visa is accessible to couples who have been married for less than two years. The CR-1 visa grants conditional permanent residence, which can be adjusted at the end of the two-year waiting period.
Citizenship for Foreign-Born Family Members
After holding a Green Card for a specified amount of time, family members of a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident to seek citizenship. This process, referred to as naturalization, is a valuable option for those who wish to live, work, and vote in the United States on a permanent basis.
FAQ: How Long Does an Application for Family Based Immigration Take?
We often receive questions regarding application time frames, as the United States immigration process is notoriously long and laborious. It is difficult to provide an exact length of time from application to approval, and the processing time varies depending on the type of visa. For immediate relative visas, the average processing time is between five months to one year. For family preference visas, the wait time can reach three years, depending on the number of visas submitted in a given year.
Contact a Bellevue Family Immigration Lawyer at ZafiroLaw Today
Being separated from your family can be incredibly stressful and disheartening. Obtaining a visa to the United States for your family members can be a time-consuming and expensive process, in which every small decision matters. As experienced attorneys, we understand the common pitfalls that applicants fall into and work diligently to make the process faster and easier for our clients. To speak with an experienced Bellevue family immigration lawyer today, consider contacting our Seattle-based office at (206) 309-9645.