Providing expertise and experience in obtaining family-based visas


It is important for families to be together, and when one family member is a U.S. citizen and others are not, the separation and distance can be hard. In these situations, the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act provides certain visa opportunities to individuals who have a familial relationship with a U.S. citizen. The goal is to bring families together and grant qualifying family members’ citizenship. CINA of Nashville, PC, has helped reunite families from across the world, and we can help your family, too.


Which members of my family are eligible for an Immediate Family Visa?


One group of visas is available to immediate relatives, and these visas are not limited in the number the government can issue per year. Within this group of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas, there are different types depending on the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the visa applicant:


Spouse—A legally married husband or wife may be eligible for an IR-1 visa, but the U.S. prohibition on multiple marriages applies.
Unmarried child—An unmarried child of a U.S. citizen under the age of 21 may apply for an IR-2 visa.
Adopted orphan—An IR-3 or IR-4 visa can be obtained for an orphan that is adopted abroad or in the U.S. by a citizen.
Parent—If a child is over the age of 21, his or her parents may be eligible for an IR-5 visa.


Unlike other types of visas granted by the federal government, the number of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas issued every year are not limited. Applicants for these visas can also apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver before leaving the country for a visa interview abroad, in order to avoid the ban on returning to the U.S. and ensure that prior unlawful presence in the county does not negatively impact the visa application. An experienced immigration attorney is skilled at making sure all necessary paperwork and requirements are met, to ensure a speedy and successful application. CINA is also very well versed on all types of waivers that may be required in order to be successful for your qualifying family member.


In addition, all of these visa and waiver opportunities are protected by the Violence Against Women Act and other special legislation. If you are a victim of battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen sponsor please call CINA of Nashville, PC, to see if we can help. Whether you are female or male we can speak with you confidentially about your immigration options without your U.S. citizen sponsor’s knowledge or cooperation.


How can I help members of my extended family obtain a visa for entry to the U.S.?


A citizen’s loved ones that do not fit within the categories available through the Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa may nevertheless qualify in the Family Preference Immigrant Visa group. These visas are for non-immediate family and also can apply to family of lawfully permanent residents, in addition to U.S. citizens. Within this visa group, family relationships are classified in order of preference:


First preference F1 visas—The first family preference applies to the unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and any minor children those sons and daughters may have.
Second preference F2 visas—In the second preference group are spouses, and minor and adult children of legally permanent residents.
Third preference F3 visas—Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children, make up the third family preference category.
Fourth preference F4 visas—Fourth are siblings of U.S. citizens who are 21 and over, and their spouses and minor children.


There are a limited number of Family Preference Immigrant Visas available every year, and after the limit has been reached, additional applicants are placed on a waitlist. Those wishing to bring their loved ones to the U.S. should move quickly on filing the visa application, in order to avoid a lengthy wait, and a Nashville family-based visa attorney should be consulted for this purpose.  CINA will also handle any waiver applications that need to be filed for your family member in order to cure a particular ground of inadmissibility.


When family members are counting on you, count on an experienced immigration attorney


The process for securing a family-based visa can be lengthy and is full of confusing bureaucratic red tape. Before an application can even be submitted, a Petition for Alien Relative Form I-130 must be filed by the sponsoring relative and approved by the government. Once an individual’s petition is authorized, there is a mountain of paperwork that must be compiled to accompany the application, for example, birth or marriage certificates, police records, and showing of financial support, in addition to a medical examination. Individuals proceeding through this process without an attorney are required to submit a Form DS-260 and the accompanying fee. When an application is complete, the applicant must participate in a visa interview at either a U.S. embassy or at an immigration office here in the United States. It is common for applicants and their families who do not have an attorney representing them to make numerous errors in this process, which can substantially hold up the process—for years, even. Immigration attorneys are familiar with the law and visa process, and can avoid delays that keep loved ones from obtaining citizenship.


Additionally, there are numerous reasons why a family member may be ineligible for a family-based visa, including past criminal offenses and mental or health disorders. When a family member is considered ineligible, it may be possible to obtain a waiver of ineligibility, and there are additional requirements that must be met and significant documentation compiled for this purpose. There is too much at stake in these circumstances to attempt this process without an attorney, and CINA clients have benefited from our ability to secure waivers for themselves, family members, and loved ones.


Contact us for professional immigration help with a personal touch


CINA of Nashville, PC, and our Managing Attorney Dawn M. Gerhart have united countless families in the U.S. with our expertise and experience securing family-based visas. We prioritize getting to know you and your family on a personal level, going above and beyond traditional immigration firms. Clients come to us from states around the U.S. and countries across the globe. Call today for a free 10 minute consultation—001 + (615) 324-7757, or toll-free (877) 381-2814