Working with Top-Rated Family Immigration Lawyer

Immigration can be difficult to navigate when trying to reunite your family. That’s why we’re here to help. Contact the Law Office of Diana Levy today.

What Is Family-Based Immigration?

Everyone wants to be with their family members, and one of the best ways to be reunited with your family is through family-based immigration.

In family-based immigration, United States citizens or lawful permanent residents apply for a family preference visa to bring their family members to the country. The term immediate family member includes father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, or any other blood relative. However, their visas will be approved according to the preference categories.

This type of immigration makes up two-thirds of the total immigration visas in the United States. While it seems that bringing your family to the United States is straightforward with a lawful permanent resident status, the process is actually far from simple.

There are complications in each step of the process, from providing evidence that you have a permanent residency or are a US citizen to filing petition forms and determining the relevant timelines for your application.

With skilled legal counsel from an experienced immigration attorney, you can help your loved one get a green card and be reunited with them. Consult with an experienced family immigration lawyer having experience in citizenship and immigration services to help you understand the details of lawful permanent residence.

What Does a Family Immigration Attorney Do?

Family-based immigration lawyer provides advice on relevant immigration laws and regulations and assists in the family-based visa application processes.

The family-based immigrant visa application process is certainly doable on your own, but working with a skilled family immigration lawyer can help you save time and headaches. Instead of finding out the process on your own, you can work with a lawyer with years of experience in immigration cases and ease the process. Your attorney will help you submit a family-based immigration petition and guide you through the process.

Diana Levy of the Law Office of Diana L Levy P.A. can help you understand the family immigration process and help you bring your loved ones to the United States.

US Family Immigration Law

The family immigration law of the United States is based on the principle of family reunification, promoting diversity, and bringing in the best talent from around the globe.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is the governing legislation of US immigration policy. The INA allows the US to grant up to 675,000 permanent immigrant visas to different visa categories each year.

In the INA, the petitioners are lawful permanent residents or US citizens who wish to bring their family members to the United States. A family-based immigrant is a person or relative for whom lawful permanent residents or US citizens file an immigration petition.

Family-based Immigration Pathways

Family-based immigrants can come to the US as either immediate relatives or via the family preference pathway. Note that there are standard eligibility criteria for prospective immigrants, as well as age and financial criteria for the petitioners.

The immediate relative’s category of family-based immigration is reserved for the following relationships with US citizens:

  • Spouses

  • Unmarried minor child under 21 years of age

  • Parents of petitioners who are 21 years or older.

The INA places no limit on the admission of immediate relatives.

The family preference pathway is reserved for more distant family relationships with US citizens and certain relationships with lawful permanent residents. Examples are:

  • Adult children: married and unmarried

  • Siblings of US citizens (note that the petitioner must be 21 years of age or older)

  • Spouses of lawful permanent residents.

Consult with a family immigration lawyer to help you understand the details of qualifying foreign relatives and immediate relative petitions.

Family Preference-Based Visa Classification

Detailed classification of the family preference categories are as follows:

  • First Preference (F1): This caters to US citizens petitioning for unmarried sons and daughters of 21 years or older.

  • Second Preference (F2A): Lawful permanent residents sponsoring their spouse or unmarried children younger than 21 years of age.

  • Second Preference (F2B): Lawful permanent residents sponsoring their unmarried sons and daughters of 21 years of age or older.

  • Third Preference (F3): US citizens petitioning for married sons and daughters.

  • Fourth Preference (F4): US citizens aged 21 or older petitioning for their brothers and sisters.

Determining your category class and the petitioning process are more straightforward if you know about the complex process before getting started.

Consulting with a family immigration attorney can help you understand the immigration process requirements and timeline. Your lawyer will guide you through the immigration process and help you handle the legal formalities with a better understanding.

Process of Family Immigration in the United States

Family Immigration Checklist

As a lawful permanent resident or a United States citizen, you start the process of bringing your immediate family members via the family-based immigration process by following this checklist:

  1. The US citizen or lawful permanent resident must file the petition for the immigration of an individual relative.
  2. Provide evidence to establish the legitimacy of the relationship. This includes marriage certificates, birth certificates, adoption decrees, and other documents that establish the familial relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary
  3. Meet the minimum income requirements. This may require proof of income, tax returns, and other financial documents.
  4. Sign and submit an affidavit stating that the sponsoring relative will be responsible for the family member(s) upon arrival in the US or adjustment to lawful permanent resident status within the United States
  5. The individual relative has to submit a medical examination report, analysis report of criminal history, or any immigration.
  6. The individual relative may also have to submit an affidavit demonstrating that they will not become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.
  7. English language proficiency test document will be required if the beneficiary is not a native English speaker.


Visa Forms and Document Submission

To obtain a green card for your family members, you need to fill out and submit the following forms:

  • Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative

  • Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence

  • Form I-864 Affidavit of Support.

You may also need to submit a copy of the Arrival & Departure Record (Form I-94) and vaccination record (Form I-693).

Depending on your relationship with the relative or family member, you must also submit the following documents:

  • Passport-style photographs

  • Government-issued identity card

  • A copy of your birth certificate

  • Passport information with your non-immigrant visa (if applicable)

You might be required to submit various other documents depending on your current non-immigrant status. Consult with an attorney to help you guide through the process.

How Long Does Family-Based Immigration Take?

The processing time of family-based immigration depends on the relationship between the person and the petitioner.

Depending on your relationship with the person, the green card processing time is likely to be:

  • 11-17 months for US citizens’ spouse
  • 10-13 months for minor children of US citizens
  • 13-14 years for married children of US citizens
  • 10-13 months for widows of US citizens
  • 10-13 months for parents of US citizens
  • 14-16 years for siblings of US citizens.

Sometimes, the processing time will differ if the petitioner is a green card holder living outside the United States. Your immigration attorney will better guide you about the process of immigration appeals and how long it takes.

How Can a Family Immigration Attorney Help You?

To bring your family members to the United States, working with a family immigration attorney can be beneficial.

US immigration law is complex. Both legal permanent resident or petitioners and their family members need to consider their relationship status, available visa options, and other requirements.

Working with a family immigration attorney can help you in:

  • Preparing and helping with paperwork to avoid detention

  • Representing you in court

  • Defending if you have been incarcerated by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)

  • Representing you before Immigration Courts Nationwide

The cost of working with an immigration lawyer varies depending on the type of case, its complexities, and the attorney’s level of experience.

At the Law Office of Diana L. Levy, P.A., our skilled attorneys will help you fill out the necessary forms correctly, attach all necessary forms and documents, and determine if you need to add any additional evidence based on your specific case needs.

Our immigration attorneys have extensive experience in family immigration, business and employment-based immigration, naturalization, asylum, and removal defense. Consult our family immigration lawyers today to discuss your circumstances and the options available to you.