At the Law Offices of Ronald L. Freeman, we believe that families should remain together. However, families can become broken apart due to extenuating circumstances, including immigration issues. Thankfully, the family immigration system in the United States allows citizens and lawful permanent residents to file a visa petition for their family members. Many family members have successfully immigrated to the United States through the family immigration process.
If you would like to bring your spouse, children, siblings, or parents to the United States, please don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Freeman. Attorney Ronald L. Freeman has extensive experience in California immigration law. He has helped many clients successfully secure visas and benefits for their family members living outside of the United States. Contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Freeman today to learn more about how we can help you attempt to reunite your family through the family immigration process.
Immigration – Family Visa Petitions
As a U.S. citizen, you have a right to file immigration petitions for your parent, spouse, sibling, adult child (married or unmarried), and minor child. Similarly, if you have a fiance who is a foreign citizen, you have a right to file a petition for him or her.
Additionally, if you’re a lawful permanent resident with an active green card, you have a right to file an immigration petition for your qualifying family members. However, permanent residents have more limited options when it comes to family visa petitions. Permanent residents may only petition for spouses, adult unmarried children, and minor children.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognizes some types of “step” and adoptive family relationships, along with widowers and widows of U.S. citizens under limited circumstances. If you have questions about whether you have the right to file a family visa petition, attorney Ronald L. Freeman will review your case and advise your legal options.
Immediate Relatives and Family Preference Petitions
As a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you can sponsor certain family members to immigrate to the United States by submitting a family-based visa petition. There are two family-based immigration categories in the United States, namely immediate relative and family preference. Immediate relatives are:
- A spouse
- A minor (under 21) child of a U.S. Citizen
- An unmarried son or daughter over age 21
- A married son or daughter of any age
If you are a U.S. citizen over the age of 21, you have a right to petition your siblings and your parents. Suppose your family member doesn’t fall into one of the categories listed above. In that case, there are other types of immigration visas for which your extended family members may qualify. U.S. visas are limited, and the kind of family relationship your loved one has will determine his or her priority on the waiting list. Priority for family visa applications are as follows:
- Immediate family members, including spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21, and parents of citizens over age 21, won’t have to wait for a visa
- First Preference (F-1) – unmarried children of U.S. citizens over age 21
- Second Preference (F-2) – spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of legal permanent residents
- Third Preference (F-3) – married sons and daughters of citizens
- Fourth Preference (F-4) – brothers and sisters of adult citizens
Sponsoring a Family Member’s Visa
As a U.S. citizen, you can exercise your right to sponsor a family member for an immigration visa. This process is far from simple. You will need to consider multiple factors, complete significant paperwork, and meet all of the various requirements and deadlines. Even when an applicant completes an accurate application on time and includes all of the required supporting data, approval isn’t guaranteed.
As a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will need to file a Petition for Alien Relative, also called a Form I-130, to start the application process. Once the Department of Homeland Security has reviewed and approved the application, the USCIS will provide a visa number, and your relative will become eligible for a green card upon approval.
If you are already living in the United States, your family member will be able to apply for a green card as soon as he or she receives a visa number. If you live outside of the United States, the National Visa Center will send you a visa and provide you instructions on the steps you need to take next.
The Benefits of Working With a Family Immigration Lawyer
The USCIS examiners are stringent and discerning when it comes to the family visa approval process. The slightest mistake or omission can lead to significant delays in your application and possible denial. At the Law Offices of Ronald L. Freeman, our team of professionals will conduct a thorough evaluation of your immigration application and ensure no omissions or errors are present. If you have not started applying for a family visa, we can complete your application for you. Our team will help you meet all of the deadlines and avoid the pitfalls of the process to avoid a needless delay in your reunions.
Contact a Family Immigration Lawyer Today
Are you a U.S. citizen who would like to bring your spouse, parent, sibling, or child to the United States with you? If so, the sooner you begin consulting with an immigration lawyer, the better. Whether you are at the beginning stages of applying for a family visa or you have experienced difficulty in the process, the Law Offices of Ronald L. Freeman are here to help.
We will provide skilled legal advice and inform you of your petition status every step of the way while helping you determine your best options. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation at our Riverside or San Bernardino office.