Written by attorney Kyndra L. Mulder

Who qualifies as an Immediate Relative for Immigration Purposes?

An “immediate relative(s)" is the relative(s) of a U.S. citizen who falls into one of the following categories;:

· Spouses of U.S. citizens: You must be married in a civil ceremony and licensed by the state. A religious ceremony or common law marriage is not valid for immigration purposes;

· Unmarried children of a U.S. Citizen who are under the age of 21;

· Parents of U.S. citizens The citizen petitioning for his/her parents must be 21 or older.

For immediate relatives a visa is available upon the approval of the petition for an alien relative.

· An immediate relative of a U.S. citizens will not need to wait for a priority date to become current.

· Immediate relatives who are already in the United States can file an application to adjust status at the same time that the petition for an alien relative is filed.

· Immediate relatives who are outside the United States can apply for an immigrant visa through the National Visa Center and consulate processing.

Visas are granted on a first come first serve basis. An attorney can not have your petition considered before others who have filed before you and are waiting. Under extremely unusual circumstances you may receive expedited consideration for humanitarian reasons or reasons that effect national security.

Working with an attorney will however expedite the time in preperation of your documents. An experienced immigration attorney will know the requirements of the consulate and how to present your file so that the consulate officer can process your case more quikly once they have your file.

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