Family Based Petitions
If you are physically present in the U.S. and have family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, you may qualify to apply for your green card without leaving the U.S. This is called an adjustment of status. The other option is to do a consular processing for your green card while in your home country. There are various factors that determine which is the best route. This is where an experienced immigration attorney can help you find the right path.
Family-based visas are available for spouses, parents, children, and siblings of U.S. citizens. Spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents also are eligible under this category. A common question we hear is “how long does it take?” That is largely determined by the visa availability in your preference category. Visas are always available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and there is no annual number cap for visas. Immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and unmarried children under the age of 21.
- First Preference: Unmarried children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21
- Second Preference: Spouses and children, and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents
- Third Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens
- Fourth Preference: Siblings of adult U.S. citizens
Note: You cannot sponsor grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousin, or in-laws for family-based immigration.
Petitioning for a family-based visa can be confusing and complex depending on your situation. One small mistake can lead to your petition being denied. That is why it is important to consult with a skilled immigration lawyer to ensure the best possible outcome.