Known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, the INA is a law that sets a limit on the number of family-based immigration visas that are issued each year. The Department of State is responsible for these visas that are issued. Many residents of North Carolina may not be familiar with how this process actually works.
Beneficiaries and petitioners
The process of family-based immigration requires that at least two family members be involved. These two relatives are known as the petitioner and the beneficiary. The law requires that the petitioner be a United States citizen who is applying to serve as the green card sponsor for their non-citizen relative, who will be the beneficiary.
These applications fall into one of two categories: immediate relative or family preference. Parents, spouses and children who are under the age of 21 qualify as immediate relatives. Any other qualified relationship is considered a family preference application.
It is important to note that there is a yearly limit to the number of family preference visas that can be issued. This is because there is a law restricting the number of such visas that are issued nationwide.
To obtain a family-based visa, the petitioner will need to fill out the proper forms, beginning with Form-I130. After this is complete, the DOS will review the application and conduct its own investigation before deciding to approve or deny the request.
Anyone seeking to obtain a family-based visa is encouraged to work with an attorney who is familiar with federal and state immigration law. This attorney may help their client in obtaining and filling out the forms as well as guide them through the review process with the Department of Security.