Family Immigration Petitions

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COMMON TYPES OF FAMILY IMMIGRATION PETITIONS

One of the most common avenues for obtaining permanent residence in the United States is sponsorship by a family member. Citizens, and in some cases green card holders, can petition for certain family members who are in or outside of the United States. Depending on the family relationship and the location where the application will be processed, the process and timeline for obtaining a green card for a family member varies widely. The following are some typical types of family based immigration petitions.

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

Adjustment of status is the process of obtaining permanent residence when the intending immigrant is in the United States. The most common form of adjustment of status for a family member is when a United States citizen petitions for an immediate relative. Immediate relative is a legal term under immigration law which means the parent, spouse, or unmarried child of a citizen. An adjustment of status petition is filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and is processed entirely within the United States, culminating in an interview at a USCIS field office.

CONSULAR PROCESSING

Consular processing is the term for obtaining a visa for a family member abroad. Unlike adjustment of status, when a family-based green card petition is filed for a family member overseas, there is a two-step process. First, an I-130 petition is filed with USCIS. Once the I-130 has been approved, the case is transferred to the US Department of State, which administers the visa process at consular offices throughout the world. Ultimately, the intending immigrant will go to an interview at a US embassy abroad and obtain a visa to travel to the United States and obtain a green card.

Family Immigration Petition Attorney

The family-based immigration process consists of several steps that work to reunite families in the United States. Whether you are a green card holder or a citizen searching for avenues to bring your family members over or you are looking to join your family in America, hiring a family immigration petition attorney is a step in the right direction. The law firm of Henson, Pachuta & Kammerman has passionate lawyers dedicated to helping families begin the immigration process. We understand the complexities of U.S. immigration law and want to help those seeing lawful permanent residency. The immigration process is complicated enough, and family-based immigration is no different. Our immigration attorneys will work with you every step of the way to determine how your family members can achieve lawful permanent residency.

 

What Does an Immigration Lawyer Do?

The main goal of a family immigration petition attorney is to help you understand your rights and build a strong case. When seeking an immigrant petition for a family member, it is critical to work with someone who knows immigration law and, more importantly, understands your unique situation.

 

Family-Based Immigration

Family immigration petitions allow a lawful resident, green card holder, or citizen to apply for their family member to come live with them in the United States. Hiring a family immigration petition attorney helps to simplify this complicated process with legal guidance and understanding. Preference categories will determine which family members may apply for a green card.

  1. First preference: 21 years or older children of U.S. citizens who are unmarried
  2. Second preference: spouses and children of lawful residents
  3. Third preference: children of U.S. citizens who are married
  4. Fourth preference: siblings of a U.S. citizen who are over 21 years old

Your residency status will determine which family member you may petition for. For example, citizens can petition for fiancés, whereas lawful residents must be married to request a petition for their partner. The laws determining which family members you may petition often fluctuate depending on the situation and residency status. Working with an experienced attorney will help you navigate these laws and give you a better understanding of your specific case.

 

Adjustment of Status

The adjustment of status process is for relatives who are currently in the United States and are seeking lawful residency. This is typically an option for immediate family members such as spouses, children, or parents of the petition applicant. This process occurs within the United States and typically requires an interview at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office.

 

Consular Processing

This is a two-step process for petitioning for a family member who is abroad. The first step is the initial application, with the second being an interview at the U.S. embassy. Consular processing is often difficult for the petitioning family member as they are away from the intended immigrant. Working with a family immigration petition attorney provides peace of mind during this long-lasting procedure.

 

Do You Need a Green Card?

Green card holders are lawful residents who can live and work in the United States legally. Residents with a green card can petition certain relatives or family members to come to live in the United States. However, unlike U.S. citizens, green card holders are limited to which relatives they can petition for. Priorities of petitions will depend on certain factors, including the date filed. Certain visas allow for petitions, but consulting with a family immigration petition attorney is highly recommended to determine your options.

 

Can a Person Come Back to the U.S. After Deportation?

Returning to the United States following deportation is not impossible, but it is fairly difficult. The first step is to complete and submit an I-212 form, the Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal. Hiring an attorney for this first step is critical for a successful application. There is a certain amount of time that you must wait following your deportation before you can apply for readmittance. The timeframe will depend on your reason for deportation.

  • 20 years if deported more than once
  • Ten years if deported during a pending order of removal
  • Five years if deported during an expedited process

Those who commit aggravated felonies or re-enter the U.S. illegally are unable to reapply for admission into the country. When looking for a family immigration petition attorney, you need someone who understands the immigration process and will dedicate time to your case. Henson, Pachuta & Kammerman has years of experience and is ready to help residents of Fairfax, VA and the surrounding areas begin the immigrant petition process. Call us today at 703-822-4701 to get started.

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K1 Fiancé Visa

A K1 fiancé petition is a non-immigrant family-based petition that allows a fiancé living abroad to travel to the United States for the purpose of marrying the petitioner and to file for adjustment of status. A K1 fiancé visa requires that the couple marry within ninety days of arrival in the United States. The process first requires an I-129 petition with USCIS followed by an interview at an embassy abroad. Couples typically face the choice of pursuing a K1 fiancé visa, or for the petitioner to travel abroad, marry, and pursue a spousal petition. There are advantages and disadvantages to each process.

PRIORITY DATES

When an intending immigrant does not qualify as an immediate relative under immigration law, a visa will not be immediately available. Depending on the immigration status of the petitioner and the relationship to the sponsored immigrant, the sponsored immigrant will fall into one of five preference categories. There are a limited number of visas available each year for each preference category, resulting in a waiting list for the processing of the family based petition. USCIS publishes a visa bulletin each month with the priority date for each visa preference category.
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The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.
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