If you’re here, most likely, you’re searching for ways to help immigrant family members, relatives, and loved ones whom you care deeply about.
You’re seeking advice, guidance, and assistance for them to win a green card so they can live and work legally in the United States.
We’re here to help you.
We Help Immigrants Win Visas, Green Cards, And Citizenship Through Family Members
Bringing and keeping families together is not a simple process.
This year the government will deport over 400,000 immigrants living here in the United States.
And deny more than another 400,000 visa and green card applications, many of whom reside outside the country.
Immigrants with U.S. citizen husbands or wives, sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, brothers or sisters.
Of course, you’re concerned.
You worry the same disaster could happen to your loved ones.
But you and your family do not have to suffer a similar fate.
That’s why we’re here.
To help guide you and your relatives through the family immigration process from winning a visa, to becoming a permanent resident, to earning citizenship.
How The Family Immigration Process Works
Family immigration has long been a foremost principle of United States immigration law.
The process of bringing family members together, known as the family unification process, enables U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor relatives for green card status and the opportunity to later apply for U.S. citizenship.
Here is a brief summary of the steps involved.
Step 1: Immigrant Relative Visa Petitions
Your first step is to file an I-130 immigrant family petition for your relative. Once the I-130 petition is approved, your relative must wait for a visa to become available, at which time he or she can move forward to the next step.
Step 2: Permanent Residence And Green Card Applications
The second step happens when your immigrant relative can file his or her application for permanent residency. Sometimes the wait for a visa to become available takes place right away and sometimes it takes many years.
Step 3: Citizenship And Naturalization
The third and final step is when your family member applies for naturalization after having resided in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for the required number of years.
Who Qualifies As A Relative For Family-Based Permanent Residence?
Family-based immigration divides qualifying relatives into two classifications.
As part of the first step in the green card process, when you file the immigrant visa petition, you must submit evidence which category the relative you intend to sponsor fits into.
Spouses, parents, and unmarried children (under age 21) of U.S. citizens are classified as immediate relatives. An unlimited number of immigrant visas are available each year for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
Hence, immigrants who qualify as immediate relatives can apply for green cards as soon as their I-130 visa petition is approved since there is no visa waiting period.
Family Preference Beneficiaries
All other immigrants who are qualified to apply for green cards through a U.S. citizen or permanent resident are placed into “preference categories” and are considered family preference beneficiaries.
Such beneficiaries include married children (under age 21), married and unmarried children (over 21), and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
In addition, family preference beneficiaries also include spouses and unmarried children (any age) of lawful permanent residents.
The number of family preference visas for immigrants is limited each year. As a result, these family members must wait longer to complete the processing of their green card applications. This process can take several years.
Extended family members – uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, and grandparents – do not qualify for family-based immigration benefits.
In addition, the categories in which relatives are placed affects whether an immigrant will be interviewed for permanent residence in the United States or their home country.
Two Paths To A Green Card: Adjustment Of Status And Consular Processing
Once the first step of the green card process has been completed, and the I-130 petition has been approved, there are two different paths to permanent residence for immigrants.
Adjustment Of Status (In The United States)
Some immigrants qualify for green card interviews in the United States. This is known as adjustment of status. Simply stated, this means you are trying to change your immigrant status to a legal resident.
To qualify, immigrants must be present in the United States and have been admitted through a lawful entry or legally equivalent inspection process.
Adjustment of status interviews take place at a local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.
Consular Processing (In The Immigrant’s Home Country)
Other Immigrants are required to attend an interview in their home country. This is called consular processing.
Consular processing is the procedure of applying for permanent residence through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in an immigrant’s home country.
If the immigrant lives outside the U.S., consular processing is the only path for immigrating to the United States.
But If the applicant is living in the U.S. and does not meet the requirements for adjustment of status, he or she must also use consular processing.
Specialized Family Immigration Roadways To Permanent Resident Status
Not all family immigration cases start with an I-130 immigrant relative petition.
Besides such family-based petitions, there are various immigration programs that have direct family consequences.
These cases begin by filing different forms which must be approved and taking actions which must occur before your green card status can be granted.
Fiancé Visa Petitions
Many times, U.S. citizens want to marry someone who does lives in another country. Because they want to get married in the United States, they file an I-129F petition.
VAWA Self-Petitions For Abused Immigrant Spouses And Children
Unfortunately, some immigrant marriages involve spousal and child abuse. The abuse may be physical, mental, emotional, or financial. In such situations, immigrants can file an I-360 self-petition to seek green card status on their own, without their abusive spouse
The forms to use for international adoptions depends on whether you seek to adopt a child from a country that is a signatory to the Hague Convention. For Hague Countries, you’re required to complete Form I-800A. Otherwise, Form I-600A is required.
Family Immigration Appeals:
Challenging USCIS Denials
Do not underestimate the family immigration process.
Too many people lose their cases because they made mistakes that could have been avoided, that should have been avoided.
These include denials of visas, petitions, and green card applications made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
As a result of losing, immigrants are often sent to immigration court to face deportation charges. Husband and wife, parent and child face separation, perhaps forever.
In many instances, the negative decisions can be reversed.
But you must act quickly. Generally, you are given 30 days to challenge the negative USCIS decision, to protect your rights to fight back.
Immigrant Relative Visa Petitions
If your I-130 petition to immigrate close family members is denied, you must file an appeal with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office which issued the decision. If USCIS does not think your appeal overcomes the denial, your case is referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Adjustment Of Status Green Card Applications
If your I-485 application to become a green card holder is not granted, you cannot appeal the decision. Instead, you are only allowed to file a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider. If USCIS disagrees with your motion, your case is sent to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) for final review and determination.
If your citizenship application is denied, you can submit an appeal to the local USCIS office which made the decision in your case. This type of appeal involves a request for a new hearing, with a different officer than the person who already interviewed you.
On the other hand, the danger of doing nothing . . . or taking too long . . . is separation from your family, perhaps forever.
That’s not the path to family unity and immigration success.
Ready to take a serious and honest look at the strengths and weaknesses of your immigration case? Let’s get started with a personalized strategy and planning session . . .