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Buffalo Grove Family Immigration Attorney

How Long Does it Take to Get a Family-Based Green Card?

Making the United States your permanent home is a dream for many immigrants. Legal permanent resident status, also called a green card, is a possible option for those who meet the requirements. A family-based green card is available to some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. You must follow the process and it can take some time to obtain a green card. A Buffalo Grove family immigration attorney will assist you with the process from start to finish to help you keep your family together in the United States. 

Types of Family-Based Visas

There are two main categories for family-based visas. These are immediate relatives and family preference. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens may obtain a family-based visa. Immediate relatives include a spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen. A U.S. citizen may apply for a family preference visa for a sibling. The U.S. does not restrict the number of family-based visas it provides each year for U.S. citizens. 

Some relatives of lawful permanent residents (LPR) can apply for family preference visas. These relatives include a spouse or an unmarried son or daughter. There are limits to the number of family preference visas it issues each year in various categories. The length of time it takes to approve and process a family visa varies greatly depending on the type of visa requested. 

Immediate Relative Visas

A green card for an immediate relative is likely the fastest way to obtain a family-based visa. There is no limit to the number of visas the United States gives out per year to immediate family members of U.S. citizens. Only a spouse, child, or parent is eligible under this category. This type of family visa likely has the shortest processing time. These types of visas can take from one to two years on average, from start to finish. A skilled Buffalo Grove family immigration attorney can assist you with the family-based visa process. 

Family Preference Visas

Family preference visas are available for qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders). Family preference visas fall under several categories, including:

  • F-1 (First Preference) – Unmarried children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21
  • F-2A (Second Preference) – Spouses and children (under 21) of lawful permanent residents
  • F-2B (Second Preference) – Unmarried children of lawful permanent residents (over age 21)
  • F-3 (Third Preference) – Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • F-4 (Fourth Preference) – Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (U.S. citizen must be 21 or older)

The length of time to complete the visa process can vary from one to two years to more than a decade or two. The length of time it takes depends on the preference category, your country of origin, and other factors. The number of family preference visas is limited, and therefore, this is a long wait to go through the process. 

It is helpful to talk to a Buffalo Grove family immigration attorney before you begin the visa application process. Our attorneys understand the immigration process and will assist you with your needs. Contact our legal team at Sverdloff Law Group at (312) 238-9090 for a consultation today. 

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