Family Visas: Helping Loved Ones Obtain American Citizenship

Many immigrants who have gone to the United States would like their family members to join them. If the immigrant has legally entered the country as a permanent resident or has become a U.S. citizen, he may sponsor a family member who lives in a foreign country.

They may work together to file for a family-based visa, and they must be able to prove by documentation that they are related. The number of family visas that were issued in the previous year may affect how long it takes for the current visa to be issued.

Cancellation of Removal

There are alternative methods for obtaining legal immigration status for foreign family members. If an immigrant has been living undocumented in the United States for ten years or more, he may file for a Cancellation of Removal.

This means that removing the immigrant from the country would cause extreme hardship for a family member or spouse. For example, if his removal would eliminate the only source of income for the family, the immigrant may be granted legal status.


If an undocumented family member needs to return to his home country for an extended period of time, he may file for re-entry. These circumstances are often related to voluntary departure laws. This allows undocumented residents of the United States to return to the country after some time to gain legal status.

Violence Against Women Act

In order to protect women, children and parents from physical abuse, immigrants may be able to gain legal status through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

This act allows battered spouses, parents and children of permanent residents or United States citizens to file for legal status. They may file the petition even if they are living in the country without proper documentation. The family members must seek the help of law enforcement officers and file charges against the abuser.

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Fiancée Visa

If a couple is engaged to be married, they may file for a Fiancée Visa. This allows the immigrant to live in the United States temporarily for the wedding. After the wedding, the immigrant can gain legal residency by filing for a green card or applying for citizenship.

Legal Assistance

Immigration laws are constantly changing, and they can be very complex and confusing. For this reason, family members of U.S. citizens may need assistance while applying for citizenship or permanent residency.

An immigration attorney will be able to assist immigrants with the application process, and he will be able to outline all of the different options that are available. Immigration attorneys may even represent prospective citizens in court when necessary.

Roland plays an active role in his local community. He is passionate about providing legal assistance for people who need help in obtaining visas and green cards in San Antonio, TX.

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