Family Based Petitions
There are several ways through which you can get your green card. Family members who are presently residing in the U.S. may be eligible to apply for a green card without having to depart the U.S. and return to their home country. Those relatives outside the U.S. or those who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States may be eligible for Consular Processing through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad that has jurisdiction over their foreign place of residence.
If your family member is a U.S. citizen
You may be able to get a green card as an “immediate relative” or as a family member in a “preference category” if your relative who is a U.S. Citizen files a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you.
You are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen if you are:
- The child (unmarried and under 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen
- The spouse (husband or wife) of a U.S. citizen (Your spouse’s child(ren), your step-child(ren), may be included in this petition if your marriage took place prior to the child(ren) turning 18)
- The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years or older)
This visa category permits the Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens to immigrate without waiting in a quota or preference line. Mere marriage to a United States citizen does not automatically create resident status in the United States. The U.S. citizen relative must file a petition on behalf of the foreign relative, and the foreign relative must undergo an interview by the United States government for admissibility to the United States as an immigrant. The U.S. Citizen may petition for his or her Immediate Relative even if that relative has fallen out of status. Proof of the initial legal entry in to the U.S. is essential to a successful petition. Children who have turned 21 or are about to turn 21, may be protected by The Child Status Protection Act if their U.S. Citizen relative timely files an I-130 on their behalf, thus “freezing” their current age until the approval of the petition.
You are a family member of a U.S. citizen in a preference category if you are:
- An unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a U.S. citizen (Your son or daughter’s child(ren) may be included on this petition)
- A married son or daughter (any age) of a U.S. citizen (Your son or daughter’s spouse and/or child(ren) may be included on this petition)
- A sibling (brother or sister) of a U.S. citizen who is 21 years of age (Your siblings spouse and/or children may be included in this petition)
An immigrant visa is not immediately available for those family members who fall in to one of the preference categories. Instead, family members must check the Visa Bulletin to determine when their visa will become current. The filing of the I-130 alien relative petition establishes the priority date for each case. When the priority date becomes current, the sponsored family member may apply for their residency either in the U.S., through the adjustment of status process or at a US Consulate overseas through immigrant visa Consular Processing.
If your family member is a permanent resident
You may be able to get a green card as a family member in a preference category if your family member filed a Form I-130 on your behalf.
You are a family member of a permanent resident (U.S. Green Card holder) in a preference category if you are:
- The spouse of a permanent resident
- The child (unmarried and under 21 years old) of permanent resident (|Your child’s children may be included in this petition)
- The unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a permanent resident (Your son or daughter’s child(ren) may be included on this petition)
An immigrant visa is not immediately available for family members of permanent residents. Family members of permanent residents must follow the same procedures as family members of U.S. citizens in a preference category.
Green card through special categories of family
You may also be eligible to get a green card if you:
- Are a battered child or spouse of a U.S. citizen
- Entered the United States with a K visa as the fiancé(e) or spouse of a U.S. citizen or an accompanying child
- Obtained V nonimmigrant status
- Are a widow(er) of a U.S. citizen
- Are born to a foreign diplomat in the United States
The attorneys at the Law Office of Yuri Tsyganov, PL have extensive experience in all issues concerning immigration law, including family-based visa petitions. We know how the immigration process works and the type of questions you can expect during family based immigration interviews. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be required to go through a demanding and at times unpleasant interview process. An experienced immigration attorney from our office will help you prepare for your interview and will be present at the interview to make sure that your rights are protected and that the immigration officer who is conducting the interview is in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. Call today for a Free Consultation.