What is the Application Process for Family-sponsored Visas?
In most situations, family sponsored cases begin with the filing of an Immigrant Relative Petition with the respective CIS Regional Service Center. Once that is approved, and the priority date is current for the appropriate category, there are two options for securing Resident Alien status for the family member. These are:
Adjustment of Status
If the family member is in the US, and petition priority visa date is currently available, and assuming there are no bars to filing adjustment of status for the person, all paperwork is filed at a local CIS District Office. The family member MUST be physically present and residing in the US (no Canadian/Mexican commuters) to be eligible, and he/she will be unable to travel after filing without prior written CIS special approval. Work and travel authorization upon petition, filing, and approval is available as long as the case is pending.
This involves filing all immigrant visa paperwork through the US Consulate of the employee’s citizenship or country of current legal residence. An interview and personal appearance at the Consulate for the entire family is required.