The Family Based Immigration process is governed by a system of immigrant visas, each of which establishes specific terms and conditions for entering and remaining in the United States. An Immigrant visa granting Legal Permanent Residency is also commonly referred to as a "Green Card."
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues Immigrant visas (Green Cards) based on a quota system. For Family Based Immigrant visas, a system of preference categories is used in addition to the quota system.
There are four basic categories of family preference:
A U.S. citizen can file the petition on behalf of his/her:
Under INA 201(b) the U.S. Citizen's spouse, parent or child (under 21) is considered an Immediate Relative, and as such NO preference quota is required. Furthermore, even under the tough new adjustment laws, a United States Citizen may petition for his or her Immediate Relative even if that relative has fallen out of status. However, the immediate relative must have entered the United States legally. Marriage to a U.S. citizen does not afford you immediate lawful status you must file an immigration petition.
A lawful permanent resident can file the petition on behalf of his/her:
A lawful permanent resident cannot file a green card petition for his or her fiancée.
The application process for Family Based Immigration includes submitting a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service or USCIS. The application waiting period will fluctuate, but usually takes several months to several years.
Our experienced attorneys will quickly determine if you are eligible to apply through a family member. We will then submit the most complete and thorough petition possible. In addition, our attorneys know the processes and procedures to work with various government agencies to ensure the best possible outcome in a timely manner.
A United States citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to sponsor a relative for immigration.
Our firm provides full-service professional legal advice and representation to help you find an immigration solution to your visa needs. Please contact us to discuss your Immigration Options.
Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable immigration lawyers.