Family Based Immigration
Consequences of Criminal Conviction on Immigration Status
Naturalization and Citizenship
Family Based Immigration
Removal and Deportation Defense
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can petition the government to have a family member come to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. In some cases the process may be quick, while in others the process may take decades—it all depends on the relationship of the family member to the petitioner.
U.S. Citizen Petitions for a Fiance
An alien fiance of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a K visa to come to the United States for the purpose of marrying the citizen. Minor children of the alien fiance may come to the United States with a K visa as well. Once in the United States, the alien fiance has ninety days to marry the citizen and then he or she may stay in the United States and apply for lawful permanent residence.
Spouses, Parents and Adult Children of U.S. Citizens
The immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen may immediately apply for lawful permanent residency without having to wait for an immigration visa to become available. An immediate relative is defined as a spouse, parent or adult child.
Other Family Relationships
The United States has a quota system for family members who are not an alien fiance or immediate relative of a citizen. A citizen or lawful permanent resident who wishes to bring a family member over needs to file a petition for the family member to receive a priority date. The family member’s nationality and relationship to the citizen or lawful permanent resident will determine when the family member can come to the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
There are four categories (or “preferences”) of family members who can seek to become lawful permanent residents. The first preference is for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. The second preference is for spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents (2A) and for the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents (2B). The third preference is for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. The fourth preference is for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
Once a family member receives a priority date, he or she will have to wait in line for an immigrant visa to become available. This will take a number of years. As of December 2018, a family member in the 2A prefernce (spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents) would need to have a priority date of October 8, 2016, to apply for lawful permanent residency. This is the quickest category. A family member from Mexico in the third preference would need a priority date earlier than December 22, 1995.
If you would like to bring a family member to the United States, contact us to get the process started.