Family is at the heart of our lives, and the U.S. immigration system recognizes the importance of keeping families together. If you're an immigrant or a U.S. citizen seeking to reunite with loved ones, family-based immigration can make that dream a reality. At The Law Office of Jesse Sanchez, we understand the significance of family-based immigration and are here to help with your application!
Family-Based Immigration Overview
Family-based immigration allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to sponsor certain family members for immigration to the United States. The goal is to keep families united and allow them to build a life together in the United States.
Immediate Relatives vs. Family Preference Categories
Family-based immigration is divided into two main categories. Our attorneys at The Law Office of Jesse Sanchez can review your specific situation and recommend the best option for you:
Immediate Relatives: immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents (if the sponsoring U.S. citizen is over 21). Immediate relatives do not face numerical limits on visas, making this category the quickest path to reunification.
Family Preference Categories: more distant family relationships, including unmarried adult children, married children, and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents. Family preference categories have annual numerical limits on visas and may involve waiting periods.
Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
Sponsoring Immediate Relatives: U.S. citizens can sponsor immediate relatives by filing a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Upon approval, the immediate relative can apply for an immigrant visa to enter the United States.
Adjustment of Status: Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are already in the United States may be eligible to apply for an adjustment of status, allowing them to obtain a green card without leaving the U.S.
Family Preference Categories
Sponsoring Family Preference Relatives: U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can sponsor family preference relatives by filing an I-130 petition. However, the waiting period for these relatives can be significantly longer due to annual numerical limits and country-specific quotas.
The Visa Bulletin: The monthly Visa Bulletin from the Department of State establishes when family preference relatives can apply for an immigrant visa or adjust their status, based on their "priority date."
Priority Dates: Priority dates are assigned based on the filing date of the I-130 petition. Applicants must wait until their priority date becomes current in the Visa Bulletin before proceeding with their immigration process.
Family-based immigration is a means of reuniting with loved ones and building a life together in the United States. It might seem complex, but it's worth the effort to be with the people you care about the most.
At The Law Office of Jesse Sanchez, we're here to guide you through family-based immigration, address legal issues, and make the process as straightforward as possible. Reuniting families is a deeply rewarding part of our practice, and we're dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of being together with your loved ones in the United States. If you have questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to reach out. Your family's future awaits, and we're here to help!