How long does it take for a family visa to be approved in San Antonio, Texas?

San Antonio, TX – Each year, the US government issues 226,000 family visas for the relatives of American citizens and lawful permanent residents. Usually, the number of foreign citizens applying for this type of family-based Green Card is much higher, which explains why some people have to wait several years until they get a visa for the US.

On the other hand, immediate relatives of US citizens do not have to wait for a visa. There is no annual cap on family visas for the spouses and unmarried children of US citizens so they can get a Green Card as soon as their applications are processed. 

Why do I need an immigration lawyer for a family visa?

If you are a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident and want to bring a family member in America on a family visa, the state or city you live in is irrelevant. Someone living in San Antonio, TX has the same chance of obtaining a visa for their relative as someone living in New York or Miami. What is relevant is having your papers in order and filing in the forms (I-130 and I-485) without mistakes. The system operates on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis, and if you make any mistakes your initial application might be rejected and you will have to start all over again. At the same time, if you do not submit all the required documents, you will receive a notification from the USCIS, called a Request for Evidence. This will delay the process as your application will be put on hold until you submit all the required documents. The processing time for I-130 forms is 6-12 months.

According to USCIS data, each year there an average of 247, 682 I-130 petitions for alien relatives are filed by US citizens and lawful residents. Out of these, 19,717 are rejected and 15,907 are denied. 

One way of avoiding such an unpleasant situation is to contact an experienced San Antonio immigration lawyer and have them guide you through the process. 

Also, it is important to understand how the ‘family preference’ system works.  

What are the four categories in the ‘family preference’ system?

The 226,000 family-based visas for alien relatives issued every year are divided into several categories and there are caps on the number of Green Cards for each level of family preference. If you don’t file your forms correctly and promptly and the available visas in your category are exhausted, you will have to wait another year. 

Family First Preference (F1): This subcategory is reserved for the unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens under the age of 21. The annual cap for F1 visas is 23,400.

Family Second Preference (F2): Each year, there are 114,200 visas reserved for children under 21, spouses, and unmarried sons and daughters (who are over the age of 21 years) of lawful permanent residents. The annual cap for this category is 114,200. Of these, 77% of the visas are reserved for spouses and children under 21, while the remaining 23% are issued to adult unmarried sons and daughters. 

Family Third Preference (F3): The married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their children under 21, fall into this category with an annual cap of 23,400 visas.

Family Fourth Preference (F4): This category is for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, as well as their children under 21 and spouses. The annual cap is 65,000.

If you are trying to get a visa for a relative and want to speed up the process, get in touch with an experienced lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio and let them deal with all the paperwork involved. 

Contact info:

Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen

San Antonio, TX

206 East Locust Street

San Antonio, TX 78212

Phone: (210) 769-3273

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