San Diego Family Based Visas
Green Cards for Families of U.S. Citizens
Over 500,000 people each year seek to obtain legal permanent residency in the U.S. by having a relative sponsor them. These green cards are issued utilizing a preference system that takes into account the exact nature of the relationship with the person sponsoring them. The preference system is a method, based on categories (or “preferences”), of distributing the limited number of immigrant visa numbers available each year. Obtaining an immigrant visa number is an essential step in the immigration process, and it means that an immigrant visa has been assigned to you. This section provides general information on how you may obtain a immigrant visa number so that you may get green cards for your family members. If you have specific questions, please contact our office.
Family Based Immigration Process
People who want to become immigrants based on employment or family are divided into “preference” categories, and if their immigrant visa petition is approved, they must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the limited number of visas allowed in each preference category each year. An exception exists for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, who do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the immigrant visa petition filed for them is approved. An immigrant visa number will be immediately available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
Limited Immigrant Visas
Because the number of immigrant visa numbers that are available each year is limited, you may not get an immigrant visa number immediately after your immigrant visa petition is approved. In some cases, several years could pass between the time USCIS approves your immigrant visa petition and the State Department gives you an immigrant visa number. Because U.S. law also limits the number of immigrant visas available by country, you may have to wait longer if you come from a country with a high demand for U.S. immigrant visas.
Who Can Be Sponsored
U.S. citizens may sponsor spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters, married and unmarried sons and daughters, and adopted children.
Permanent residents of the U.S. may only sponsor spouses, children, and unmarried adult sons and daughters.
Green Cards for your family members who are your spouse, children, and parents are categorized as “immediate relatives” and are not subject to immigration quotas. All other categories of relatives have an immigration quota based on the country of origin.
- Immediate Relatives: Immediate relatives are spouses, parents, and children and are not subject to immigration quotas.
- Marriage: A U.S. citizen may sponsor their foreign-born spouse for a green card. They are considered an “immediate relative” and are not subject to immigration quotas.
- Parents: A U.S. citizen may sponsor their parents for green cards. They are considered “immediate relatives” and are not subject to immigration quotas.
- Unmarried Adult Sons and/or Daughters: A U.S. citizen and parent may sponsor their unmarried adult sons and/or daughters for green cards. They are not considered “immediate relatives” and therefore are subject to immigration quotas.
- Married Sons and/or Daughters: A U.S. citizen and parent may sponsor their married sons and/or daughters for green cards. They are not considered “immediate relatives” and therefore are subject to immigration quotas.
- Brothers and Sisters: A U.S. citizen may sponsor their brothers and/or sisters for green cards. They are not considered “immediate relatives” and therefore are subject to immigration quotas.
- Adoptions: A U.S. citizen may adopt a child in another country. This can be a lengthy, complex process involving the United States as well as the country the child is currently a citizen of. The child you wish to adopt may be classified as an “immediate relative” and therefore would not be subject to immigration quotas.
Hiring the best attorney for your immigration case can prove pivotal in your life, much like a marriage. A licensed lawyer is authorized and qualified to assist you with your immigration case or green card application. Unlike consultants, attorneys have completed extensive education and training before being licensed to represent clients. Just like a life partner, you want an attorney you can trust, communicate with, and relate to. Most importantly, you want an attorney who knows how to successfully proceed with your case so that you achieve the desired outcome. While many legitimate community and religious organizations provide immigration-related services, there are those who advertise as legal “consultants” or “notarios publicos” but are not authorized or qualified to help with immigration law-related matters. You face a big challenge, the power of the United States government. Don’t face it alone. Contact a San Diego Family Based Visas Lawyer at Superior Immigration Lawyers.