Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.
Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: December 12, 2019, Last Updated on: April 25, 2023.
Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Atlanta Immigration Court, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.
What You Need to Know Family First Preference Visas
The most common form of immigration into the U.S. is family-based immigration. US citizens and lawful permanent resident (LPR) relatives can petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for permission to bring an immigrant family member into the country. This category of visa is known as a family preference immigrant visa.
The visa process must be initiated by the U.S. citizen or the LPR (the petitioner). The process differs for LPRs and US citizens, although both must be at least 21 years of age to petition another individual.
US immigration law provides two types of family-based categories: immediate relatives (IR) and family preference.
Immediate relative immigrant visas are granted to individuals with a close family relationship and who meet the following criteria:
- Spouse of a U.S. citizen
- Unmarried children under 21 years of age of American citizens
- Parents of US citizens who are 21 or older
The family preference categories are as follows:
- First preference (F1): Unmarried children (over 21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens
- Second preference (F2A): Spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents
- Second preference (F2B): Unmarried children over the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents
- Third preference (F3): Children of U.S. citizens
- Fourth preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of American citizens who are 21 years of age or older
Besides this, there are many categories, including student visas granted to foreign students to attend academic institutions. Once the approved school accepts your application, you will be added to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Are you considering bringing family members into the US using a family preference visa? Over a free consultation, we can discuss your options and suggest the best course of action. As a result, this potentially time-consuming process will be avoided. Contact our Georgia immigration law firm today for highly professional and skilled advice.
F1 Visa for Unmarried Sons and Daughters: What Is It?
The F1 Visa is a green card issued to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens. (Note that this visa is not available for sons and daughters of a person who has a lawful permanent residence (known as a green card holder) in the U.S.)
- The married sons and daughters must be 21 years of age or older and not minor children.
- Certain conditions apply.
- Depending on the family member, applying for another type of green card might be necessary.
Family First Preference (F1) Visa Application Process
Applicants should follow four distinct steps of the application process:
Step 1: Visa Petition
The US citizen petition must submit Form I-130 online to USCIS. In addition to presenting accompanying documents, the petitioner must be able to prove a genuine family relationship with the unmarried child.
Step 2: USCIS Decision and Visa Process Application Submission
Upon receiving the petition, USCIS officers will verify everything before approving or denying the request. Upon approval, the applicant will need to submit some documents with a visa issuance fee and wait for the visa to be issued.
Step 3: Waiting for the Visa
Applicants are placed in a queue, so the unmarried child has to wait for a visa to become available. About 226,000 visas are granted annually.
Step 4: Embassy or Consulate Interview
Applicants located outside the US will be required to undergo consular processing. They will need to appear at their nearest US embassy or consulate for an interview. As soon as their visa is approved, they can enter the United States as Family First Preference (F1) Visa holders.
Preparing for the F-1 Visa Interview
F-1 visa interview needs you to be prepared for the possible questions that might be asked.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the interview.
- Prepare documents: You need to prepare the required documents needed for your interview, including your passport, Form I-130 approval notice, National Visa Center (NVC) appointment letter, medical examination results, and some civil documents such as birth and marriage certificates. You also need to bring financial documents from the petitioner as proof of their ability to support the beneficiary. In some cases, you might need to bring the application fee payment receipt with you.
- Practical training for potential questions: You should prepare yourself for the possible questions that may be asked by the consular officer. Such as questions about your relationship with the petitioner, your plan in the U.S., and your education and employment background.
Though all this can be done alone, there will be some points where you might need an attorney’s help to process things with efficiency whilst avoiding making a mistake.
Working with an attorney can help you in various ways, including
- Gathering the important and required documents and organizing them for the interview. Your lawyer will help you ensure that all paperwork is ready to support your application.
- Working with a lawyer can also help in having a brief explanation of the possible interview questions. You can also consult about the best answer.
- Your lawyer will advise you on the types of evidence that best demonstrate a genuine relationship between you and the petitioner.
Working with an experienced lawyer can provide you with the confidence and reassurance you need to successfully approach the F-1 visa interview. It will help you reduce anxiety and appear better in the interview.
Plus, your lawyer will address any legal concerns that arise in your case, considering the specific factors.
What Is Form I-864, and Do You Need to Submit One?
In this affidavit, a sponsor contracts with the US Government. The sponsor is the person who submits and signs Form I-864. This affidavit must confirm that you have sufficient income and/or assets to support the intending immigrants and the rest of your family at 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
What to Submit (Principal Applicant)
Form I-130 names a beneficiary as the principal applicant. If the applicant is already in the country and intends to apply for a family preference green card, the principal applicant must submit several documents and evidence, including some of the following:
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
Form I-797, Approval or Receipt Notice, for the Form I-130 petition filed on your behalf, unless the Form I-485 is filed simultaneously with the Form I-130
Two passport-sized photographs
Copy of your government-issued identity document with photo
Copy of your birth certificate
Copy of your passport page with a nonimmigrant visa, if applicable
A copy of your passport page with an immigration officer’s admission or parole stamp, where applicable
A copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, or copy of an immigration officer’s admission or parole stamp on the passport or travel document, if applicable
Continuous proof of lawful status since arriving in the United States
Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, which requires a medical examination
Police and court records containing criminal allegations, arrests, or convictions, if any
Depending on your circumstances, additional documents and forms may be required to provide proof of compliance. So, it is a good idea to first go through your submission with a qualified and experienced immigration law firm to prevent unnecessary delays and, worse still, possible rejection of your application.
How Can an Attorney Help?
As you may know, immigration law is quite complex, confusing, and full of nuance. As a result, it is a problematic area when it comes to complying with the detailed requirements for submission. Our skilled attorneys at Manji Law, PC, deal with these issues every day. As a result, they have a deep understanding of the processes.
Our immigration services include filing applications for immediate relatives and other family members. When you consult with an experienced and qualified attorney, you’ll be relieved of the stress of submission. Also, we can assist with i-765 applications for authorization to work in the U.S.
During your initial consultation, our empathic Atlanta family immigration lawyer will assess your situation, determine whether your family members qualify for family-based visas, and advise you on your options.
Get in touch with MAnji Law, PC, today for help filing your immigrant visa petition and resolving your immigration problems. Get a free consultation with an EB-5 immigration attorney today!