Navigating Family-Based Immigration
Whether you are trying to enter the country temporarily or permanently, you are likely searching for ways to do so in a legal manner that won’t put you at risk of being deported. At Empire Immigration Law, PLLC in Buffalo, New York, attorney Ramon Irizarry is here to help you through whatever immigration needs you are looking for help with. Please call him today at 888-606-3005 to set up a free consultation.
Obtaining A Green Card (Lawful Permanent Residency) Through Family
If you are looking to lawfully reside in the United States permanently, one way to do so is through someone who you are related to that qualifies and is either a permanent resident (green-card holder) or a citizen of the United States. Either way, they can help you petition to get permanent residency (a green card) in the United States, which could eventually lead to you becoming a citizen.
With family-based immigration, there are different categories. Which category you are going to be in depends on the following factors:
- Whether your relative that is petitioning is a U.S. citizen or green card holder
- Your relationship to that person (the petitioner)
Read on for more details.
Family Preference And Immediate Family
If you are going to go through family-based immigration, it’s going to end up in one of the two categories: immediate relatives or family preference. If you are a spouse, a parent or a child who is unmarried and under the age of 21, and you have a U.S. citizen relative, you would be an immediate relative. In the United States, every single year, there are an unlimited number of these immigrant visas available for the immediate relatives of United States citizens. Any other relationships are considered family preferences. These immigrant visas are limited every year because the law puts a cap on how many green cards can be issued to family preference category immigrants. There are usually long lists for waiting and backlog for family preferences.
Unlimited Family-Based Immigration
There are two types of unlimited family-based immigration:
- Immediate relative: The first is if you are an immediate relative of a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident here. If you are an immediate relative, that might mean you were married to someone who is a citizen of the United States or can mean you are a widower of a U.S. citizen, or you have an unmarried child who is under the age of 21 who is a U.S. citizen, or you are the parent of an adult U.S. citizen.
- Returning residents: If you are returning to this country, you will be considered a returning resident if you’ve lived in the United States in the past, had legal permanent resident status and have been abroad for over a year.
Limited Family-Based Immigration
There are four categories for limited family-based immigration:
- Unmarried children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21.
- Spouses of legal permanent residence or unmarried children under the age of 21 and unmarried children of legal permanent residence who are over the age of 21
- Married children of U.S. citizens
- Siblings of adult U.S. citizens.
You need to have at least two family members participate in family-based immigration. Those people are the petitioner and the beneficiary (the person seeking legal status). The petitioner has to be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident who is going to sponsor a family member who lives out of the country for a green card. The beneficiary is the family member who lives out of the United States and wants a green card. In some cases, there are derivative beneficiaries such as spouses and children who are attached to the person who is the original beneficiary.
Applying For A Family-Based Green Card
Most family-based immigration processes start with the petitioner who is going to be the lawful permanent resident or a United States citizen submitting a request to the government of the United States to let their family member immigrate into the country. You might be dealing with forms like I-130 or the “Petition for Alien Relative.” The USCIS is going to be handling this case. If you have the I-130 petition, it has the ability to establish that there is a family relationship that would qualify you for this.
Once your petition gets approved, and you get a visa number, then you can apply for your green card. There are two ways to apply for a green card:
- Consular processing: With this process, you will have to apply for a green card through the U.S. Embassy or consular office in your home country. This is the most common method for getting a green card.
- Adjustment of status: This process allows you to remain in the U.S. while your application gets processed. You might be able to do that if you are already legally in the United States temporarily, say as a student, visitor or tourist.
Getting An Adjustment Of Status
If you are looking to get an adjustment of status, contact lawyer Ramon Irizarry today to discuss this process. This process might be right for you if you are looking to obtain a green card while you are living in the United States without one. It can be complicated depending on your scenario, so we hope you reach out sooner rather than later as we are sure deportation is a fear that weighs heavy on your mind. It is also important for you to go through this process if you are someone who wants a green card and doesn’t want to have to go back to your home country to get one.
Getting A Green Card Through Marriage
A common way to get a green card (and, eventually, U.S. citizenship) is through marriage. Mr. Irizarry handles these cases routinely. He can provide guidance on securing K-1, K-2 and K-3 fiancé visas as well as pursuing a marriage-based green card.
Get Experienced Immigration Help Today
If you are looking for help with your family-based immigration matters, please get in touch with Empire Immigration Law, PLLC today to set up your free initial consultation. You can also call 888-606-3005 to get started. You can trust that immigration lawyer Ramon Irizarry cares deeply about helping you get the results that you need.