One method an individual can use to come to the United States to live and work permanently is to prepare one’s immigration petition on the basis of a familial relationship. Immigrating on the basis of one’s immediate relatives living in the United States who have already achieved green card (legal permanent resident) status does present certain advantages. In contrast, basing one’s immigration petition on less direct relatives can result in some delays and waiting for a visa slot to come available. However, for individuals who cannot qualify for a visa through work,
The Miami lawyers of Colombo & Hurd are committed to exploring all reasonable immigration paths and possibilities. If we feel that a family-based visa is appropriate for your situation, we can handle the process from start to finish. To schedule a confidential consultation at our Orlando or Miami law offices, call 305-692-0232 today.
Immediate Relatives – Parents, Children, and Spouses – Can Immigrate Without Facing Numerical Visa Restrictions
If certain close family members are already living and working in the United States, you may have a direct path to immigration that can not be delayed or otherwise thrown into jeopardy by a limited allotment of visa slots. In general, the following family relationships can create the circumstances needed for a successful immigration petition:
- The intending immigrant’s spouse (husband or wife) is already a U.S. citizen.
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 are able to immigrate to the United States when a parent has come first and is a citizen.
- Parents living abroad can immigrate to the United States under this visa type when children over the age of 21 have already established citizen status.
- Orphans being adopted by U.S. citizens.
It is essential to note that qualifying immediate relatives are not subject to limits of the number of visas available annually. In fact, there is an unlimited number of this type of visa making it a very desirable way to get a green card. However, individuals who proceed in this fashion must ensure that children do not “age out” by reaching their 21st birthday prior to receiving the immigration benefit. Likewise, if an immediate relative child under the age of 21 gets married, he or she will become a “third preference” (F3) category married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and the immediate preference option will no longer be available.
It is important to note that the exact procedure you need to follow to proceed in this fashion is affected by whether you already live in the United States or if you are living abroad. Individuals living inside the United States can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status simultaneously with Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. If you are living outside of the United States, you must engage in consular processing to apply for and obtain a visa of this type.
Other Family Members May Qualify for a Family Preference Visa Category
If you have relatives in the United State who do not allow you to qualify as an immediate relative but are a close relation, you may be able to qualify for a Family preference visa category. While the family preference visa is a family-based visa, it is not viewed as being as desirable as the immediate relative approach because there are limits on how many family preference visas can be awarded. That said, it is a viable and extremely useful means to obtain a green card. Qualifying family relationships include:
- Family First Preference (F1): The first preference category can provide up to 23,400 visas for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children.
- Family Second Preference (F2): The second preference category covers spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of legal permanent residents (green card holders).
- Family Third Preference (F3): The third preference category is reserved for the married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
- Family Fourth Preference (F4): The fourth and final family preference category are targeted at the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
The family preference visa category can allow individuals to come to the United States to live and work. An attorney can assist you regarding determining if the visa is appropriate for your situation. If so, he or she can assist with all aspects of your application.
Work with the Miami Immigration Lawyers of Colombo & Hurd
The immigration lawyers of Colombo & Hurd can address an array of visa and immigration concerns and questions. If you want to immigrate on the basis of a family member already living and working in the United States, we can handle the immigration process from filing your petition to your citizenship. To schedule a confidential initial consultation, call 305-692-0232 today.