Immigrant Relative Visa

Immigrant Relative Visa

Our Jacksonville Immigration Attorney Helps Your Family Stay United

This visa category permits the immediate relatives of United States citizens to immigrate without waiting in a quota or preference line.

  • Mere marriage to a United States citizen or permanent resident does not automatically create resident status in the United States.
  • The United States relative must file a petition on behalf of the foreign relative, and the foreign relative must undergo an interview by the United States government for admissibility to the United States as an immigrant.
  • However, less immediate ties than a spouse or parent of a United States citizen require that a person apply for his or her visa through a series of categories which may or may not be current at the time the person’s application is approved.
  • A United States citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to immigrate a relative.
  • There are FOUR basic categories of family preference:
  • First, adult sons and daughters of United States citizens;
  • Second, spouses, and adult sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents or green cardholders;
  • Third, married children of United States citizens; and
  • Fourth, brothers and sisters of United States citizens.

A bulletin is issued by the United States Department of State ( showing the status of the various visa categories in relation to the preferences for the worldwide countries which have not over-subscribed the system as well as a breakdown for those countries which are over-subscribed. There are varying waiting periods in these categories, depending on the backlog of prior applications on a worldwide basis and on a per country basis in the case of certain high demand countries. These waits are unpredictable, and can change from month to month, since the waiting line depends upon the number of people with earlier priority dates on their approved applications who actually complete the process when the time comes that the visa is available.

 K- 1 Fiance Based Petition                                                                                                        

The Fiancé(e) Visa allows a US Citizens only (not Legal Permanent Residents) to apply for permission with a U.S Consulate abroad to allow his or her fiancé(e) to enter the U.S with a fiancé(e) visa. The U.S Consulate abroad will only review this application after there has been an approved petition by the USCIS which must be applied inside the United States by the US Citizen on behalf of his or her fiancé(e).

The marriage must take place within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the United States. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days or the fiancé(e) marries someone other than the U.S. citizen filing USCIS Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) the fiancé(e) will be required to leave the United States. Until the marriage takes place, the fiancé(e) is considered a nonimmigrant. A nonimmigrant is a foreign national seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose. A fiancé(e) may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.

If the fiancé(e) intends to live and work permanently in the United States, the fiancé(e) should apply to become a permanent resident after the marriage. (If the fiancé(e) does not intend to become a permanent resident after the marriage, the fiancé(e)/new spouse must leave the country within the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.

The fiancé(e) may enter the United States only one time with a fiancé(e) visa. If the fiancé(e) leaves the country before married, the fiancé(e) may not be allowed back into the United States without a new visa.

Who is Eligible
U.S. citizens who will be getting married to a foreign national in the United States may petition for a fiancé(e) classification (K-1) for their fiancé(e). You and the fiancé(e) must be free to marry.

This means that both of you are unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment or death. You must also have met with the fiancé(e) in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancé(e) visa. This requirement can be waived only if meeting the fiancé(e) in person would violate long-established customs, or if meeting the fiancé(e) would create extreme hardship for you. You and the fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the United States.

You may also apply to bring the fiancé(e)’s unmarried children, who are under age 21, to the United States.

Will I Get a Work Permit?

After arriving in the United States, the fiancé(e) will be eligible to apply for a work permit. United States.

How do I get a Green Card?Once inside the United States, the Fiancé(e) and the U.S Citizen have 90 days to marry. Once married, the now spouse of a U.S Citizen (and children if applicable) may be eligible for three immigration Service benefits. These include: 1. work permit, 2. travel permission and 3. Green Card. The work and travel permits generally take from 60 to 90 days, while the green card can take from 6 to 12 months on average. Upon verification of a valid and legitimate marriage, the USCIS will issue the spouse a Conditional green card that will be valid for two years.

 A simple mistake during the USCIS application process can cause a long delay or even a permanent disqualification.   

The above referenced material is the opinion of Francis Jerome Shea and should not, under any circumstances be considered to be taken as legal advice.

For a confidential and comprehensive evaluation of your case contact:

Francis Jerome Shea; 644 Cesery Boulevard, Suite 250 Jacksonville, FL 32211; Phone 904-399-1966;