Alien Relative Visa

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office (USCIS), operating under the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), reviews petitions filed by U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor qualifying relatives (beneficiaries) to come to the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For beneficiaries located outside the United States, the petition and visa process is divided between USCIS and DHS. Under 22 C.F.R. § 42.42, consular officers may not grant immigrant visas without petition approval. In other words, for immigrant visa processing abroad, the consular officer must not issue an immigrant visa without an approved immigrant visa petition from DHS.

U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are the relatives of individuals applying for visas may file a petition for a foreign relative, to sponsor the beneficiary to come to the United States to live as a lawful permanent resident. 

Attorney for the Alien Relative Visa in Shenandoah, TX

Attorney Luis F. Hess is an experienced family-based immigration attorney with an office in Shenandoah, TX. He helps clients apply for alien relative visas by aiding the U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident relative in completing the form, to sponsor a beneficiary to come to the United States.

Luis F. Hess can help you file the petition to bring your fiancé(e) (K-1) and their children (K-2) to the U.S. If you are already married, he can help you bring a spouse (K-3) and their children (K-4) to the U.S. to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

Luis F. Hess represents clients in immigration cases throughout Montgomery County and Harris County. He represents clients throughout Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Houston, TX. 

Call Luis F. Hess, PLLC at (281) 205-8540 today.

Back to top

The Process to Obtain an Alien Relative Visa

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office (USCIS) has jurisdiction to consider the approval of the petitions for alien relatives. The USCIS has delegated limited adjudication authority to consular officers at posts where USCIS does not have a public presence.

After the approval of a petition, USCIS prepares an approval packet that is then sent to the National Visa Center (“NVC”), which is an agency within DHS responsible for the domestic coordination of consular processing.

The approval notice that is sent to the petitioner indicates that the original visa petition has been sent to the DHS/NVC to complete the visa processing and directs further inquiries to the DHS/NVC. After receiving the approval packet, DHS is responsible for processing the relative beneficiary's immigrant visa applications to determine their eligibility for immigrant visas prior to visa issuance.

The purpose of the alien relative form is to establish the qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. The primary purpose of the immigrant visa application is to vet each beneficiary's history and background before issuing a visa. Each beneficiary must be issued an immigrant visa in order for the beneficiary to travel to the United States and request admission as a lawful permanent resident.

During the immigrant visa process, an alien relative petitioner is allowed to withdraw his or her sponsorship up and until the consular officer issues the immigrant visa. When USCIS receives notice of the petitioner's withdrawal, the petition is automatically revoked and may no longer be used as a basis for the beneficiary of that petition to immigrate to the United States.

When an alien relative initiates the revocation by affirmatively withdrawing the petition, USCIS is required to send an acknowledgment of the automatic revocation.

Additional Resources

Family of U.S. Citizens - Visit the USCIS website to learn more about how citizens or lawful permanent residents in the United States can establish the relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States. Filing an alien relative visa is only the first step in helping a relative immigrate to the United States.

This article was last updated on Friday, December 22, 2017.