5 Myths About Family-Based Visas | Eatontown, NJ

5 Myths About Family-Based Visas

Discover the Truth About Family-Based Visas

Due to the complexity of immigration regulations, some can be misinterpreted, making family-based visa applications harder. Avoid family-based visa New Jersey falsehoods that could delay your immigration. To prevent these fallacies, consult a specialist before applying for a family-based visa.

Your attorney can explain the process, answer your questions, and guarantee your application is comprehensive and accurate. Andres Mejer Law can match you with a skilled attorney to dispel these myths. Contact us immediately with family-based visa questions. We take pleasure in helping.

Quick Summary:

Uncover the truth behind common misconceptions surrounding family-based visas in New Jersey. From debunking myths about lengthy processing times to demystifying eligibility criteria, this article serves as a guide for anyone embarking on the immigration process. Ensure a smooth journey with accurate information, and empower yourself with the guidance of an experienced attorney. 

Myth #1: Marrying a U.S. Citizen Automatically Grants Lawful Permanent Resident Status

A widespread family-based visa misconception is that marrying a U.S. citizen grants permanent residency. Unlike common misconception, this does not ensure approval because it requires extensive eligibility examination.

Criteria for Permanent Resident Status Through Marriage

Obtaining permanent resident status through marriage typically falls under the category of family-based immigration. Here are the key criteria for acquiring permanent resident status through marriage to a U.S. citizen:

  • Valid Marriage: The marriage must be legally valid and recognized. Common-law marriages are typically accepted if they are valid in the jurisdiction where they were formed.
  • U.S. Citizenship of the Spouse: The sponsoring spouse must be a U.S. citizen. Green card holders (lawful permanent residents) cannot sponsor their spouses for immediate permanent resident status; there is a different process for them.
  • Proof of Genuine Marriage: The couple must provide evidence demonstrating the authenticity of their marriage. This can include joint financial documents, property ownership records, photographs, affidavits from friends and family, and any other relevant documentation that establishes a bona fide marital relationship.
  • Affidavit of Support: The U.S. citizen spouse must submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), which is a legal contract affirming their financial responsibility for the immigrant spouse. This is to ensure that the immigrant spouse will not become a public charge.
  • Eligibility for Adjustment of Status: The immigrant spouse must be eligible for adjustment of status. This includes being physically present in the United States and having entered the country legally.
  • Criminal and Immigration History: Both spouses must provide information about their criminal and immigration history. Certain criminal convictions or immigration violations may impact eligibility.
  • Medical Examination: The immigrant spouse is required to undergo a medical examination by an approved civil surgeon to ensure they do not pose a health risk to the public.
  • Interview with USCIS: Both spouses will typically be interviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to assess the validity of the marriage and the eligibility of the immigrant spouse for permanent resident status.

Myth #2: Lawful Permanent Resident Status is Automatically Granted to Parents of U.S. Citizen Children

Some mistakenly believe that having a U.S. citizen child grants lawful permanent resident status. Actual qualifying requirements for status adjustment must be met.

The parent must prove a qualifying relationship with a 21-year-old U.S. citizen child, submit birth certificates or adoption paperwork, and ensure the child would financially sponsor them. Additionally, the parent must meet standard conditions for adjustment of status, including legal immigration into the U.S. and medical evaluation. 

Both parent and child have to disclose their criminal and immigration background, and USCIS may interview both to verify the relationship and eligibility. Following USCIS regulations and seeking legal guidance can improve application chances.

Myth #3: Having Any U.S. Citizen Relative Entitles One to a Green Card

There is a myth that having a U.S. citizen aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandmother grants a green card. However, relationship and visa type determine eligibility.

Green Card Visa Categories 

Lawful permanent resident (LPR) green cards can be issued through various visa categories based on circumstances and relationships. Some frequent green card visa categories:

  • Family-Sponsored Visas: Family-sponsored visas allow U.S. citizens to sponsor relatives for permanent immigration. These include Immediate Relative visas for spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents, and Family Preference visas for unmarried sons and daughters over 21, married children of any age, and siblings.
  • Family Preference: Family Preference Visas allow U.S. citizens to sponsor relatives for permanent residency. This category is for distant relatives not covered by Immediate Relative visas. Family Preference visas include F1 for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, F2 for spouses, unmarried children (under 21), and unmarried sons and daughters (21 and over) of permanent residents, and F4 for siblings. The preference system for these visas has annual limits, which might lead to waiting periods for applicants in specific categories.

Myth #4: Immediate Relatives Always Have Visas Available

Spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens have visa priority, but not all family members do. Married children and siblings of U.S. citizens must wait for visas. Family Preference visa annual restrictions affect waiting periods. 

F1 visas for unmarried sons and daughters are prioritized over F2 visas for spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents, and F4 visas for siblings are least preferred. Thus, this priority mechanism may increase family-sponsored visa wait periods.

Myth #5: Entering the U.S. Automatically Allows Adjustment to Permanent Resident Status

Arriving in the US does not ensure permanent resident status. At entry, you must be inspected and admitted or paroled. Inspection entails legitimate admission into the U.S. after immigration officer approval, usually via visa. 

Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act makes exceptions. Section 245(i) allows people to modify their status in the U.S. notwithstanding unauthorized work, visa overstay, or admission without inspection. 

This provision has certain eligibility restrictions, and applicants may be subject to a $1,000 penalty cost. This complex structure shows how complicated the immigration procedure is and how important it is to grasp specific provisions for permanent resident status.

Bust Myths About Family-Based Visas New Jersey

Obtaining a green card through family-based petitions necessitates a thorough understanding of the immigration process of becoming a US citizen. It is important to dispel any myths that can lead to misconceptions and misapplications. By working with one of the experienced immigration attorneys at Andres Mejer Law, you can steer clear any misdirections that can arise from myths about family-based visas in New Jersey. Contact us today! 

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