How Do I Extend My Family Visa in Florida?

mother, father and little daughter going to boarding, enjoying traveling togetherThere are several different types of family visas for immigrants to the United States, and the requirements vary based on the applicant’s relationship with the sponsor. The requirements are somewhat complex, and the applicant must choose the right type of visa to apply successfully. An applicant would be well-advised to consult with a family immigration lawyer before applying and at every stage of the application process.

Types of Family Visas

A foreign citizen wishing to enter the United States to reside permanently and basing their application on a family relationship requires a family visa. The foreign citizen must be sponsored by a relative who is at least 21 years old in applying for a family visa. The relative must be either a U.S. citizen or a lawful U.S. permanent resident (often called a “green card” holder).

There are four kinds of family immigrant visas:

  • Immediate Relative visas;
  • Family Preference visas;
  • K-1 fiancee visas;
  • K-3 spouse visas.

Immediate relative visas are granted based on a close relationship as the family member of a U.S. citizen. Spouses, children, or parents are considered close family relationships. The number of immediate relative visas granted is not limited to each fiscal year.

Family preference visas are granted based on more distant relationships with U.S. citizens and upon close relationships with U.S. lawful permanent residents. The number of family preference visas granted is limited in each fiscal year.

K-1 fiancee visas are granted to individuals intending to marry U.S. citizens. With a K-1 visa, a non-citizen can enter the United States and marry a U.S. citizen. The engaged couple must complete the marriage within 90 days from the time the non-citizen enters the country. Once the marriage is complete, the non-citizen may apply for permanent resident status and a green card.

K-3 spouse visas are granted to individuals who are already married to U.S. citizens. This visa, also known as a spouse visa, allows the non-citizen spouse to enter the United States while waiting for the approval of an I-130 Immigrant Petition form. As such, the K-3 visa is a temporary visa.

How Do I Extend My Family Visa in Florida?

Most family visas are permanent, meaning they do not require visa extensions. The applicant, if successful, can enter the United States and apply for permanent resident status. Thus, extension requests are rare for most kinds of family immigrant visas.

The main exceptions to this rule are the K-category visas. K-3 or K-4 visas are temporary. To extend a K-3 or K-4 visa, the applicant must file Form I-539. In order to file form I-539, the applicant must have an open and pending application using form I-130, “Petition for Alien Relative.” There are a few exceptions, allowing the filing of an I-130 after the extension. However, the applicant must be able to show good cause for not filing the application sooner.

K-1 visas are good for a limited time period and may not be extended. The terms of a K-1 visa require the applicant to file for an adjustment to immigration status after marrying the U.S. citizen spouse.

Immigration law can be complicated in the United States, and most applicants can benefit from legal assistance. The Espinoza Law Offices have been providing service to many needing assistance with all areas of immigration law. If you require the services of an immigration lawyer in Lakeland, Florida, or if you are considering an application to bring a spouse or family member to the United States on an immigration visa, call us today for a consultation. We would be delighted to assist you.