Family-Based Visa Categories
How to Speed Up Your Case

family-based visaIn the video below, we describe the following family-based visa categories and the factors which may enable you to speed up your waiting time for a green card.

F1 – Unmarried adult sons and daughters of US citizens
F2A – Spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs)
F2B – Unmarried adult sons or daughters of LPRs
F3 – Married sons and daughters of US citizens
F4 – Brothers and sisters of US citizens

We also discuss how to apply for your relatives under the family-based visa categories and explain the following concepts: priority dates, alternate chargeability, changing categories and calculating waiting times.

Your priority date is your place in line for a green card. For family-based visas, your priority date is the when your petitioning relative files an I-130 visa petition on your behalf with the U.S. government.

Alternate changeability allows you to use your spouse’s country of birth to immigrate to the U.S. if his/her country has less of a backlog that your country of birth does.Your family-based visa category may change if you get married or divorced after an I-130 visa petition is filed on your behalf, or if your petitioning relative naturalizes.

As there are 7% per-country quotas restricting how many individuals from a given country and category may receive family-based visas, it is recommended that individuals look at the US State Department’s Visa Bulletin as a rough indicator of how long the waiting time is for their country of birth and their family-based visa category.

In the video, we discuss how to convert your family-based visa petition into a category with a shorter waiting time.


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It should be noted that the Visa Bulletin indicates how long people whose priority has become current have waited since being petitioned by a relative, not the waiting times for petitions being filed now. The waiting times for current applicants are often much longer than the bulletin indicates.

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