Bringing Families Together Through Immigration
There is nothing more important than family. For many immigrants, the most painful part of leaving home is leaving behind loved ones. In certain situations, however, family-based immigration can bring families back together.
If you moved to the U.S. for work or school and hope to bring other family members to the U.S. as well, you will need legal guidance from an attorney who understands the laws regarding immigration. The family immigration attorneys at Hanis Irvine Prothero, PLLC, have the experience and knowledge to help you. Attorneys Cynthia Irvine, Katerina A. Ehrlich and Janay L. Farmer have over 40 years of combined legal experience and look forward to helping you and your family find a legal solution to bring you together.
Understanding The Petition Process
In order to sponsor a relative for a family-based visa, you must either be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident. You are known as the petitioner, whereas your relative is known as the applicant. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) petition process takes many steps for both you and your relative. You both must show documentation and, as the petitioner, you must show you can financially support yourself and the applicant, if necessary.
Who Is Eligible For A Family Visa?
If you are a permanent resident, you may only sponsor your spouse or an unmarried son or daughter. If you are a U.S. citizen, you may sponsor immediate relatives, as well as more distant relatives. The eligible relatives of the sponsor include:
- Child under 21 years old
- Child over 21 years old, unmarried
- Married child of any age
- Siblings (if the sponsor is at least 21)
- Parents (if the sponsor is at least 21)
USCIS does not limit the number of visas for immediate family members of U.S. citizens each year, which includes spouses, unmarried children under 21 and parents. It does limit the number of visas for other relatives, however, including those of permanent residents. The government provides categories of preference and the applicant must wait for a visa to become available in their category.
What About Fiancé Visas?
U.S. citizens may also petition on behalf of a fiancé for a nonimmigrant K-1 visa. This is a separate visa process from the family-based visas, although they are closely related. You must marry within 90 days of your fiancé’s arrival. Your new spouse will then apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident.
Get Started Today
The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can bring your family back together. The family-based petition process may seem long and complicated, but we are ready to help. You can schedule a free initial consultation today by reaching us online or by calling our Kent office at 253-520-5000 or toll-free at 877-391-5319.