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Understanding employment visas and family members

Coming to the United States for work often means getting separated from family. At Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A. Attorneys at Law, we know how difficult it can be to put thousands of miles and even oceans between you and your loved ones. We often help people here on employment visas bring family members over as well.

According to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consulate Affairs, 21,365 employment-based preference immigrants were approved in 2014. In order to gain such an immigrant visa, your employer will first have to obtain a certification for labor from the U.S. Department of Labor and then file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Once the petition is approved, you may apply for an immigrant visa along with your spouse and children if the children are younger than 21 and unmarried. These rights are now extended to same-sex spouses of any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Each person will have to fill out all the application forms and pay the required fees. A medical examination will also be conducted.

Keep in mind that if you are applying for an employment-based immigrant visa, there is a limit on how many such visas the U.S. government will issue. According to the Bureau of Consulate Affairs, you cannot receive a visa until you have reached your priority date, which is the date that the Department of Labor receives the labor certification application. It is possible that in some of the most popular employment visa classifications, the waiting period will be several years.

For more information on this topic, please visit our page on employment immigration.

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