Some Illinois residents are working to bring their family members and relatives to join them in the United States. There are two major groups of visa categories for family-based immigrants, including family preference options and immediate relatives. Eligibility for these different visa types can vary, and understanding the choices available can help people to determine the right application to file.
International students often come to Illinois on an F-1 visa that allows them to study at a U.S. college or university. However, many students around the world are married and have children. The F-2 visa can enable spouses and unmarried children under 21 to join an F-1 student visa holder. Their visa is linked to the student's, and they can remain in the country so long as the legal, F-1 visa status of the student continues.
When a green card holder or US citizen from Illinois or another state marries an individual from another country, the individual from the other country may be interested in seeking a green card. If the couple has been married for less than two years, the green card will only provide conditional permanent resident status, meaning that it is only going to last for two years.
Foreign investors interested in immigrating to Illinois may be curious about the best visa or green card route to help them achieve their goals. There are reasons to pursue either an E-2 work visa or an EB-5 green card depending on each person's specific circumstances. In order to be eligible for the E-2 visa, people must be citizens of a national treaty country and must have substantial funds, typically around $150,000. In addition, they must have at least 50% of the business in question, and it cannot be simply a passive investment business. This also means that at least some level of English language knowledge is necessary for eligibility.
Illinois residents who are interested in helping foreign-born family members get legal status in the United States may be interested in learning about some of the options that are available. In most cases, the individual applying has to be in the country legally. However, some exceptions exist, especially when undue hardship is placed on the individual or family members.
A person in Illinois who attempts to obtain a green card after marriage could face a denial if the person was earlier determined to have entered into a fraudulent marriage in an effort to get a green card. This is covered under INA Section 204(c). It says that for anyone who has engaged in marriage fraud, approval of an immigrant visa petition is prohibited.
Many immigrants in Chicago and across the country have been concerned about changes to U.S. immigration rules, as many of them seem to make it more difficult to support their family members joining them in the United States. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced one reform that could make it easier for people to apply for family immigration. When people become U.S. citizens after having their green cards, they often want to help sponsor their loved ones to join them.
The spouses and children of H1B visa holders who would like to accompany their spouse or parent while working or visiting Illinois or other U.S. states may apply for an H4 visa, which is a dependent visa. Spouses and children under 21 years of age who are interested in the H4 visa need will need to apply at a U.S. consulate in their country of citizenship.
Some Illinois residents may be concerned about how they can bring their close family members to join them in the United States. In the family-based immigration process, there are several types of family relations that take priority, especially spouses, fiancé(e)s, and adopted children. When a U.S. citizen wants to bring their spouse to live as a permanent resident, he or she must file a visa petition for the spouse. In some cases, the spouse is already living in the U.S. When the petition is approved, the spouse can then petition to adjust status to that of a green card holder.
We have covered a variety of topics related to family immigration on this blog, but some people have an especially hard time with respect to immigration matters. For example, those who have young kids may be under an incredible amount of stress, and they may also struggle with helping their children work through these concerning issues. For example, some children are too young to understand what is going on, and communication can be very hard. Not to mention, kids often have difficult issues of their own to work through (such as problems at school) which can make this situation even more troubling.