Experienced Family Immigration Lawyer: Why Do I Need One?
Attorney Leonelba Martínez (Founder)
Family Immigration in the United States
U.S. immigration laws are complicated, but they offer many ways for people to apply for citizenship or lawful permanent resident status.
Family-based immigration is a way to bring your loved ones to the United States as U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
However, the process is more complicated than it sounds. An experienced immigration attorney can help you through the process of petitioning your qualifying foreign relatives.
What Is U.S. Family Immigration?
U.S. immigration law allows some noncitizens, who are family members of citizens and lawful permanent residents, to become lawful residents (get a Green Card).
Usually, U.S. family-based immigration requires the participation of at least two family members; a beneficiary and a petitioner.
The petitioner must be a lawful permanent resident or a United States citizen who wishes to sponsor a foreign family member to obtain a green card. The beneficiary is a foreign family member seeking a Green Card.
The legal conditions for this differ depending on your United States citizenship status.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Family Immigration Attorney?
Family immigration is a complex process, and the consequences of making a mistake can be costly.
An experienced family immigration attorney can help you:
Navigate the Process
The family immigration process is confusing and complicated. A family immigration attorney can help you understand the process and ensure that you complete all the necessary steps.
Petition for the Right Family Members
There are many different types of family visas, and not every family member will qualify for every type of family immigration visa.
An experienced family immigration attorney can help you determine which family members are eligible to immigrate to the United States and petition for the right family members.
Avoid Common Mistakes
People make many common mistakes when trying to navigate the family immigration process on their own. An experienced family immigration attorney can help you avoid these mistakes and ensure that your family immigration case is filed correctly.
Understand the Eligibility Requirements
There are many different eligibility requirements for family immigration visas. An experienced family immigration lawyer can help you understand the specific needs for the visa you are applying for and ensure that you meet all the requirements.
Prepare for Your Interview
The family immigration interview is an important part of the process. An experienced family immigration attorney can help you prepare for your interview and ensure you are ready to answer any questions the interviewer may have.
Categories of Family-based Immigration
There are two family-based immigrant categories: immediate relatives or those under family preference categories.
Green Card for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can obtain permanent residency based on their family relationships. Specific eligibility criteria must be met.
Immediate relatives include:
- a spouse
- an unmarried child (minor under 21)
- unmarried sons or daughters over 21
- married children of any age
- siblings or parents of a U.S. citizen who is over 21 years old
Each year, the number of immigrants allowed for the immediate relative category is unlimited.
Green Card for Family Preference Immigrants
Family preference visas are intended for certain noncitizens, who are family members of U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents, to become permanent residents (get a Green Card) based on specific family relationships.
The family preferences are the following:
- First Preference (F-1) – unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old
- Second Preference (F-2) – spouses, children, and unmarried children of LPRs
- Third Preference (F-3) – married sons and daughters of citizens
- Fourth Preference (F-4) – brothers and sisters of adult citizens
Each year only a limited amount of immigrant visas are issued to people in this category.
What Is the Difference Between Immediate Relatives Visas and Family Preference Visas?
According to the visions of U.S. immigration law, United States citizens can file visa petitions for their parents, spouses, children, or siblings.
However, permanent residents in the U.S. can only file immigrant visa petitions for their spouses or unmarried sons and daughters.
For more information, consult a family immigration lawyer who will explain the laws around the family-based immigration process.
How Do I File for Family Immigration?
The first step in the relative visa application process is submitting Form I-130 with supporting documents. Your relative does not get any benefit or status based on the filing or approval of this petition.
Sponsoring a family member requires you to meet the requirements for supporting a potential immigrant. You must:
Provide documentation proving you are a U.S citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States.
Have an eligible relationship with the person for whom you are petitioning.
Show that you can support the family member. You must have a family income above 125% of the poverty level in your state.
Contact an Experienced Family Immigration Attorney
If you have questions about the immigration process, immigration visas, or gaining U.S citizenship or permanent residency for your family, our immigration lawyers can assist you.
We can help you with your visa application no matter which state you live in because visas are governed by federal law rather than state law.
Contact a family immigration attorney at the Law Offices of Leonelba Martinez today to start with your family-based immigration petition.