What Constitutes Family Under A Family Based Visa?
As I described earlier, the first question is whether the petitioner is a citizen or a permanent resident. As a citizen, you can apply for your spouse, children, parents, and brother or sister. If you’re a permanent resident, you can apply for your spouse, minor children, and adult children that are unmarried. Those are all the family based categories.
Who Is Eligible To Apply For A Family Based Visa?
You have to either be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Other than that there’s nothing you can do for the most part although there are some exceptions. In certain cases if you were the spouse of a permanent resident or a citizen and you were abused either physically or mentally it is possible that you could apply for residency on your own, but you would have to provide proof of the abuse.
If your spouse was arrested and charged with domestic violence, that’s a straightforward path to self-petitioning. However, in a situation where a person is demeaning you every day, telling you you’re worthless, and threatening to have you deported if you don’t do certain things, that would be much harder to prove and would take much longer to get approved. Those would be the only exceptions to having somebody other than a U.S. citizen or permanent resident petition for you. You can only self-petition in limited circumstances.
Who Is Eligible To Be A Sponsor Of A Family Based Visa?
Either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, as discussed above.
How Do I Appeal The Denial Of My Petition Or Application For A Family Visa?
You have to look at why it was denied. Usually they’re denied because the government sent a request for additional evidence and they never responded. Clients will often tell me they never received anything, and sometimes that does happen where the government makes a mistake. You have to look at it, but usually it would actually take longer to appeal than it would take for you to just file a new petition.
It does happen more often when you don’t have a lawyer because normally when you have a lawyer the lawyer gets a copy of all the communications with the government and the client gets a copy of the communication.
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