We can help with your family immigration
We understand that family immigration is complex. The forms and bureaucracy can be overwhelming and confusing. With years of immigration attorney experience, Colombo Hurd, PL can help you to navigate the process. Our attorneys are ready to aid you in sponsoring family members for permanent residence (green card).
Three major factors influence the process of family immigration and the waiting periods.
- Your status (United States Citizen or Permanent Resident) as sponsor;
- The relationship between you and the family member(s) you are sponsoring; and
- The country of citizenship of the family member(s). Once our attorneys have an initial consultation with you to determine the situation, we can advise you on the best way forward. The two major categories of family-based immigrant visa categories are those for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and those for more distant relatives of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). Unlimited Family-Based Immigrant Visas: Immediate Relatives
THERE ARE FIVE CATEGORIES OF IMMEDIATE RELATIVES FOR WHOM VISAS ARE UNLIMITED. THESE ARE:
- A U. S. citizen’s spouse
- A U. S. citizen’s child who is unmarried and under 21 years of age
- Orphan adopted abroad by a U. S. citizen
- Orphan to be adopted in the US by a U.S. citizen
- Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old Limited Family-Based Immigrant Visas:
More Distant Relatives The U. S. government makes a limited amount of family-based immigrant visas available to more distant relatives of U. S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents(LPRs). The order of preference and numbers allocated each year are shown below.
Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens, and their minor children, if any, are given 23, 400 visas.
Spouses, minor children, and unmarried children (age 21 and over) of LPRs get 114,200 visas. At present, seventy-seven percent of these visas will go to the spouses and minor children, while the rest is allocated to the unmarried children
Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children can avail of 23, 400 visas.v
Lastly, a U. S. citizen who is at least 21 years old can also petition for their brothers and sisters and their spouses and minor children. At present, 65,000 visas are available in this category.
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THE PROCESS OF FAMILY IMMIGRATION
Generally, the US citizen or permanent resident begins the process by petitioning the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to classify the relative as a qualifying relative. If the foreign relative is in the US, the relative will file for adjustment of status with USCIS. When the relative is outside the U. S., they will file the petition at the appropriate U.S. consulate.
Following USCIS approval, the petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). At an appropriate time, the NVC will require forms, fees, and documentation. With Colombo & Hurd’s advice, you can make sure that there are no mistakes in the paperwork.
Due to high demand, particularly in the category of more distant relatives, the waiting times for visas can vary. Available immigrant visas are issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed. The filing date becomes what is known as the applicant’s priority date. Some categories have many approved petitions compared to available visas, and there may be a waiting period of several years, or more, before a priority date is reached. In such situations, our attorneys may be able to advise you on alternative routes to enable you to be united with your family.