Skokie Family-Based Immigration Attorneys
Reuniting Families from around the World
Under U.S. immigration law, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) have the right to let certain foreign-born family members immigrate to the United States. If your loved one is an LPR or citizen of the United States, they can sponsor you. You will have to prove your family relationship with extensive documentation and evidence.
Gambacorta Law is here to help you navigate the application process. Our family-based immigration lawyers in Skokie can review your situation and determine which visas you may be eligible for. From there, we can build a strong application and ensure that all paperwork is submitted appropriately.
How to Apply for a Family-Based Immigration Visa
The application process for family-based immigration is simple. It begins with completing and filing with Form I-130, which is filed by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident residing in the United States.
If accepted by the USCIS, the resident or citizen will receive a priority date, which means they can apply for a visa or permanent residence status when that date matures.
Because the number of permanent residents is limited to a yearly quota, the U.S. creates preference categories to decide who will be approved. You should keep in mind that there are long waiting lists, especially for third and fourth preference categories. There is no guarantee you will get off the waitlist within the same year that you apply.
Family-Based Immigration Preference Categories
In family-based immigration, immediate relatives—spouses and children (both biological and adopted)—take priority over other family members. As such, it is faster to obtain a visa when an immediate relative is sponsoring you.
The preference categories for family-based visas include:
- First Preference – Unmarried children (over the age of 21) of U.S. citizens and their children.
- Second Preference – Spouses, minor children, and unmarried children over the age of 21 of a lawful permanent resident.
- Third Preference – Married children of U.S. citizens (as well as their spouses and children).
- Fourth Preference – Siblings of U.S. citizens. The citizen must be at least 21 years of age to sponsor his or her siblings. Half siblings and adopted siblings can also petition for family-based immigration.
Keep in mind that grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.
Important Facts about Green Cards for Family Members
Family-based green cards are issued without much consideration of the relative’s educational background or work experience. These factors do not determine eligibility.
You should know that green cards can be taken away if they are misused.
A green card could be revoked if the holder:
- Commits a crime
- Makes a primary home outside the U.S.
- Fails to inform immigration authorities of a change in their address
Successfully holding a green card for five years—or three years if you are married to and still living with a U.S. citizen at that time—grants the green card holder the privilege to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Click here to find out more information:
- Family Based Immigration
- Children of U.S. Citizens
- Overview of Immediate Relatives
- Parents of U.S. Citizens
- Spouses of U.S. Citizens
- FBI- Family Based Immigration for Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
- FBIII- Family Based Immigration for Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
- FNIV-Family Based Immigration for Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens (Siblings)
Get started on your visa application today or learn more about how you can sponsor a relative. Call Gambacorta Law at (847) 443-9303 now.