Overview of US Family Visas for Pakistani Citizens
The US offers different types of Family Visas for Pakistani citizens who want to reunite with family members.
To be eligible for a US family visa, you must have a recognised family relationship with a US citizen or lawful permanent resident who will act as your sponsor. You must also fulfil other criteria such as age and quality of character.
If you are a Pakistani citizen who wants to live with your spouse, parent, child, or sibling in the US, then the specific visa most suitable will depend on your circumstances.
Reach out to an immigration specialist for more advice on the most suitable visa pathway and advice on the range of criteria needed for a US Family Visa.
Immediate Relative Visas (IR)
Immediate Relative (IR) Visas are a category of visas that allow close family members of US citizens to immigrate to the US. These visas do not have annual quotas so tend to benefit from quicker waiting times.
The main types of IR Visas are:
- IR-1- enables the spouse of a US citizen to live permanently in the US.
- IR-2 – allows unmarried children under 21 years old of US citizens to live permanently in the US.
- IR-3 – for orphans adopted abroad by a US citizen to live permanently in the US.
- IR-4 – allows orphans who will be adopted in the United States by a US citizen to live permanently in the US.
- IR-5 – for the parents of a US citizen who is at least 21 years old to live permanently in the United States.
The applicant must also file a visa petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the visa petition is approved, the applicant can apply for an IR Visa at a US embassy or consulate in Pakistan.
Family Preference Visas
Family Preference Visas, also known as F Visas, are a category of visas that allow certain relatives of US citizens and permanent residents to immigrate to the United States. Unlike Immediate Relative Visas, F Visas are subject to annual quotas so there can be lengthy processing times.
The main types of Family Preference Visas are:
- F1: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of US citizens.
- F2: Spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents.
- F3: Married sons and daughters of US citizens.
- F4: Brothers and sisters of US citizens (if the US citizen is 21 years of age or older).
The process of applying for an F Visa can be time-consuming and stressful, so it is important to consult with an immigration attorney to ensure that you are eligible and that your application is filed correctly.
K Visas are a specialised category of visas designed to help foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses of US citizens reunite in the United States. These visas allow Pakistani citizens to enter the United States and stay temporarily until they are eligible for a change of immigration status.
The main types of K Visas are:
- K-1 – also known as Fiancé(e) Visa, allows a foreign national who is engaged to a US citizen to enter the country to get married. The marriage must take place within 90 days of arrival, after which the foreign national can apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident.
- K-2: – for the minor children (under 21 and unmarried) of K-1 Visa holders. They can accompany their parent to the US and apply for adjustment of status after their parent gets married to a US citizen.
- K-3 – allows a Pakistani citizen who is already married to a US citizen to enter the United States and stay temporarily while their immigrant visa application is processed. This is designed to reduce the time spouses are separated while waiting for immigration paperwork to go through.
- K-4 – minor children of K-3 Visa holders can enter the US under the K-4 category. However, they must be under 21 years old and unmarried.
The US citizen must also file a visa petition with USCIS. Once the visa petition is approved, the foreign national can apply for a K Visa at a US embassy in Islamabad or any nearby consulate.
Conditional Resident Visas
Conditional Resident Visas (CR Visas) are a type of visa that allows foreign nationals who have been married to a US citizen for less than two years to live and work in the US. The “conditional” part of the visa means that it is only valid for two years. This is to ensure that the marriage is genuine and not entered into to gain immigration benefits.
There are two types of CR Visas:
- CR-1: This visa is for the foreign national spouse of a US citizen.
- CR-2: This visa is for unmarried children (under 21 years old) of a US citizen who is married to a Pakistani citizen.
To be eligible for a CR Visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be married to a US citizen for less than two years at the time the visa is granted.
- The US citizen spouse must file a petition (Form I-130) on your behalf.
- Pass all the standard requirements for marriage-based visas, including proof of a genuine relationship.
After two years, you must apply to remove the conditions on your residency. This is done by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
If you are unsure which US Family Visa type is right for you, our immigration experts can help you determine eligibility and choose the visa that best meets your needs. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 to get started.
Requirements for US Family Visas
Each type of visa has specific requirements, but some general requirements usually include:
- Valid passport
- Proof of relationship such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate.
- Affidavit of support to prove that the US citizen can financially support the visa applicant.
- Medical examination conducted by an approved doctor.
- Applicants must not have a history of immigration violations or criminal offences that could render them ineligible.
- Completed DS-160 form
- Attend an interview, if required, at a local US embassy or consulate.
Application Process for US Family Visa
Before applying for a US Family Visa it is important to establish which is the most appropriate visa category and you may wish to reach out for advice from a specialist to ensure you are applying for the correct category.
The next step is for the US-based family member (petitioner) to file a visa petition using Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with USCIS.
Once the I-130 form is processed, USCIS will notify the petitioner of its decision. If approved, the petition is sent to the National Visa Centre (NVC) in Pakistan, which will assign a case number.
If applying for a visa with an annual quota you should check the Visa Bulletin so that you know when to complete the application.
You must then pay the relevant visa application fees and submit Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application) along with all the required supporting documents such as financial records, medical examinations, and police certificates.
If applicable, you may be invited to attend an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan to provide further information and answer questions about your relationship, as well as future plans.
After approval, the Pakistan citizen will receive a visa packet to present to US customs and border protection upon arrival in the United States.
After entering the US, you may need to apply for an adjustment of status by filing Form I-485 to become a lawful permanent resident.
We can help you with your visa application process. We have experienced lawyers who will guide you every step of the way to increase your chances of approval. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 for immediate assistance.
US Family Visa Processing Times
The processing times for US Family Visas can change due to various factors, such as US policy shifts, global events, changes in government priorities, and demand levels. The processing times can also vary among different US embassies/consulates in Pakistan.
- Immediate Relative Visas (IR) – usually processed within 8 to 12 months.
- Family Preference Visas (F) – can take around 12 to 24 months or even longer as there are annual limits on the number of visas issued.
- K-Visas: the processing time can range from 7 to 10 months depending on the individual circumstances of the applicant.
- Conditional Resident Visa – the current wait time is 13.75 to 15.5 months if you are married to a US citizen and 26 to 36 months if you are married to a Green Card holder.
To get the most up-to-date information on processing times, check the official website of the US Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan. You can also monitor the US Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for the latest information on visa availability and waiting times.
What to do If Your US Family Visa Application is Rejected
If your US Family Visa application is rejected, you may be disappointed and frustrated. However, remember that visa denials are not uncommon. There are many reasons why a visa application may be denied.
The denial letter will provide you with the reason(s) for the rejection.. If the denial was due to errors in your application, such as incorrect information or missing documents, you can correct these errors and resubmit your application.
In a case where the denial was due to a criminal conviction or other inadmissibility grounds, you may be able to request a waiver. A waiver is a request to the US government to allow you to obtain a visa despite the inadmissibility grounds.
If you are not sure what to do after your visa application is denied, you should consult with an immigration attorney. The immigration attorneys at Total Law can help you understand the reasons for the denial and advise you on the best course of action. Call +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
How Can Total Law Help?
Understanding the US immigration laws can be challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Our experts at Total Law fully understand the intricacies of US immigration laws. We have assisted many Pakistani citizens and are willing to assist you too.
We can help you with everything from filling out your visa application to preparing for interviews and gathering the necessary documentation. Our goal is to make your path to family reunification as smooth and straightforward as possible.
Bringing your family to the US is more than just paperwork. It’s about starting a new chapter in life. Trust Total Law to be your partner in this huge step.
Reach out to us today for bespoke and professional support.. For further details, feel free to call us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
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Yes, you can extend your US Family Visa. However, you can only extend your visa if it is still valid so you must apply for an extension before it expires. Additionally, you must meet the same eligibility requirements as you did when you first applied for the visa and you will need to pay any renewal fees.
You will need to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status with USCIS.
Yes, you can change your status on a US Family Visa through the Adjustment of Status process. To qualify, you must be in the US, hold a valid nonimmigrant visa, have an approved immigrant petition from a qualifying family member, be eligible for an immigrant visa, and have paid all fees. Apply using Form I-485 with USCIS.
After filing, you’ll attend a biometrics appointment. If approved, you’ll receive a Green Card, making you a lawful permanent resident. Some exceptions, like certain crimes or visa violations, may affect eligibility. It’s advised to consult specifics with an immigration expert.
The validity period of a US Family Visa depends on the type of visa you are applying for. Here are the validity periods for some of the most common US Family Visas:
- Immediate Relative Visas are valid for 10 years.
- Family Preference Visas are valid for 6 years.
- K-Visas are valid for 90 days.
- Conditional Resident Visas are valid for 2 years.
Whether you can work on a US family visa depends on the type of visa you have. Here are the US Family Visa types and whether you can work on them:
- Immediate Relative Visas (IR): You can work on an IR Visa without any restrictions.
- Conditional Resident Visa and Family Preference Visas (F) and K-Visas: You can work on an F Visa and CR Visa with certain restrictions. You can work for any employer in the United States, but you must obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).