Helping Families Thrive and Stay Together
Immigrating to the United States based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is the most common path to becoming an LPR and obtaining the so called "Green Card."
To qualify for this benefit, the family relationship must fall into one of the two broad categories: 1) Immediate Relative, or 2) Preference Category relative.
Immediate Relatives include the spouse, children under 21 years old and parents of a U.S. citizen. However, only U.S. citizens 21 years of age or older can petition for their parents, either biological or step-parents. Immediate Relatives are allowed to immigrate to the United States in unlimited numbers and in an expedited manner.
All other close relatives of U.S. citizens and LPRs fall into the preference category relatives and are subject to annual numerical limitations that are statutorily set by Congress for each category. These include:
- Unmarried adult children (over 21 years old) of U.S. citizens
- Spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old) of LPRs
- Unmarried adult children (over 21 years old) of LPRs
- Married adult children (over 21 years old) of U.S. citizens
- Siblings of U.S. citizens (including half-siblings and step-siblings)
Although family-based immigration is the most common way of obtaining the permanent resident status, there are many technical rules that apply to the process. Mistakes on the application can frustrate the process or even prevent approval; professional attention is helpful to achieving a successful ending. If you would like to petition for a family member, please contact an attorney at Queen City Immigration Law to help you reunite with your family.
K-1 Fiancé Visa
The K-1 visa allows a person to come to the United States for 90 days to marry their fiancé and apply for the lawful permanent resident status (a “Green Card”). K-2 visas are available for unmarried children under the age of 21 whose parents obtain K-1 visas.
K-3 Marriage Visa
The K-3 visa is reserved for individuals who have concluded a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States. A petition a relative (Form I-130) must first be filed by the citizen spouse. Unmarried children under 21 years old of K-3 visa beneficiaries can obtain a K-4 visa.
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
Certain foreign citizens are ineligible to immigrate to the United States because they are considered inadmissible by Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Grounds that can make a foreign citizen inadmissible include being convicted of a crime, drug abuse, certain medical and mental issues, and unlawful presence in the United States. It is important to determine your admissibility before applying for a visa or a green card. If you are inadmissible, our attorneys can work with you to petition for a waiver to clear the path for your visa or green card.