Sponsor A Family Member For Immigration
During the immigration process, one of the most common questions we hear is whether the family can stay together during the process. Although immigration laws are complex, there are provisions to allow families to stay together. There are numerous ways to apply for citizenship through family, or have a family member sponsor a green card.
What Is A Family-Based Petition?
Citizens of the United States, or lawful permanent residents can sponsor a family member to immigrate via a family-based petition. When sponsoring a family member, there are two family-based categories: immediate relatives and family preference.
Immediate relatives are:
- The spouse of a U.S. citizen
- The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen
- The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the US citizen is 21 years of age or older).
If you are a U.S. citizen and you are over 21, you may petition your siblings and your parents.
There are four family preferences:
- First Preference (F-1) – unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Second Preference (F-2) – spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents, and unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents
- Third Preference (F-3) – married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Fourth Preference (F-4) – brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the US citizen is 21 years of age and older)
Immigrating Through A Family Member’s Petition
To start the process of obtaining lawful permanent residence through a family member, the relative must first file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130.
Once this form has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security/USCIS, your relative may apply to become a lawful permanent resident. If your relative is already in the U.S. and a visa is available, they may be eligible to get their Green Card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Certain relatives must wait until a visa number is available before they can apply. In addition, spouses (and children) who obtained their green card through marriage and prior to the marriage's two-year anniversary are classified as conditional permanent residents.
We handle petitions to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. We can assist you with the filing of an I-751 petition, whether you are filing it while no longer married to the U.S. citizen petitioner spouse due to divorce or death, or due to abuse by your U.S. citizen spouse, or if you are separated, but don't yet have a final divorce decree.
Priority for Visa Applicants:
- Immediate family members, including spouses of a U.S. citizen, unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen, and parents of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old, will have an immigrant visa always available.
- Unmarried sons and daughters 21 years of age or older of U.S. citizens are given first preference in the visa waiting list.
- Spouses and children, and unmarried sons and daughters of Permanent Residents are given second preference.
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens are given third preference.
- Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens are given fourth preference.
Schedule A Complimentary Consultation
Immigration to the United States can be complex, and it’s important to have experienced counsel on your side. Call our office today to schedule a complimentary consultation!