Family-Based Immigration

Skokie Family-Based Immigration Attorneys

Assisting Clients With Family-Based Immigration Matters

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.

To discuss your case with our experienced Stokie family immigration lawyers, call (847) 443-9303 or contact us online.

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.

What are the 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.

Does Education or work experience affect Family-Based Green Cards?

Family-based green cards are issued without much consideration of the relative’s educational background or work experience. These factors do not determine eligibility.

Can You Lose a Green Card?

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

Can a Green Card Holder Apply for Citizenship?

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:

Get started on your visa application today or learn more about how you can sponsor a relative. Call the experienced Stokie family-based immigration attorneys at Gambacorta Law at (847) 443-9303 now.


  • Specializing in Complex Immigration Cases

  • Willing to Travel to Clients When Needed

  • Personally Been Through the Immigration Process

  • Services in Tagalog, Thai, Spanish & Vietnamese


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  • Sincere Dedication

    “I can't express how appreciative I am to have found him. My husband is back home with us now and we are celebrating our 8 year anniversary this Friday. Thank you for your sincere dedication Mr. Gambacorta, you brought my family back together.”

    - Nicole
  • Extraordinarily Helpful

    “The temple and Khun Tim have an ongoing relationship and I continue to refer Thai people to him when I know that Thai people are in need of an immigration lawyer.”

    - Anonymous
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    - Karla
  • Always Very Attentive to Me and My Family During This Process

    “He successfully help me obtain a working permit card in the U.S., amongst other benefits, as part of the new law in Illinois (The Dream ACT).”

    - Norman Jr.
  • Thoughtful, Thorough, and Most Importantly, Practical

    “I have worked with Tim for almost 3 years and have never been disappointed in any aspect of his work.”

    - Hung