U.S. immigration law provides a numerical cap and a per-country cap on the number of visas available each year for different family-based categories. Immigrants want and need to know how long they must wait to become a lawful permanent resident, and sometimes become frustrated with and confused by the wait times. Today’s blog post will outline the basic categories of family-based immigrant visas and the general wait times.
ARE YOU AN UNMARRIED CHILD UNDER 21, SPOUSE OF A U.S. CITIZEN OR PARENT OF AN ADULT (OVER 21) U.S. CITIZEN?
If so, you are an “immediate relative” and there is no cap on the number of these visas. Therefore, there is no need to wait for a visa number to become available. Your visa petition can be approved as soon as U.S.C.I.S. can process your petition (generally 6 to 9 months).
ARE YOU A SPOUSE OR MINOR CHILD (UNDER 21) OF A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT?
Immigrants from most countries can expect to wait from 6 months to 2 years.
ARE YOU AN UNMARRIED ADULT SON OR DAUGHTER OF A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT?
Immigrants from most countries can expect to wait approximately 6 years, while immigrants from Mexico, the Phillippines, India and China must wait up to 21 years due to the significant number of applicants from these countries.
ARE YOU A MARRIED SON OR DAUGHTER (OVER 21) OR SIBLING OF A U.S. CITIZEN?
Immigrants from most countries can expect to wait 11 to 13 years, which immigrants from Mexico, the Phillippines, India and China can wait up to 23 years.
If you’re considering a family-based immigrant visa petition, you should seek competent legal advice to guide you along the way. Individuals need quality legal representation to shorten the wait as much as legally possible. The immigration lawyers of Christiansen Law Firm have significant experience in assisting immigrants with their visa petitions, and can assist you in immigrating to the United States as quickly as possible. Contact Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.