Alexandria Family Immigration Lawyer

Family-based immigration is the process of becoming a United States permanent resident through family relations. Normally, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) files a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCSIS) to bring a family member over to the U.S. (or allow the family member to remain in the U.S.) and acts as a sponsor to the family member seeking residency.

The U.S. legal system can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the system, let alone the language. Although U.S. laws may offer several ways to reconnect family members and navigate a path through immigration law, the process can be complex.

A skilled Alexandria family immigration lawyer who specializes in a variety of family-based and humanitarian immigration cases can discuss your legal options and provide knowledgeable legal counsel for immigration issues you may be battling.

Key Facts of Family-Based Green Cards

Green Cards obtained on family relationships can come with its advantages and disadvantages. Unlike many Green Card types, the applicant’s education, background, or work experience may not make a difference in determining eligibility.

A Green Card application can include derivate applicants, such as the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of the primary applicant. However, as with all Green Cards, the principal and the derivative may have their Green Card taken away if it is misused.

For instance, if the Green Card holder makes their primary home outside of the United States, commits a particular crime, or is found to have committed a past immigration violation not disclosed at the time of application, there is a chance that they will be placed into removal proceedings. However, if the individual successfully keeps the Green Card for a minimum of five years, or three years if they are married and in an ongoing marriage with a U.S. citizen petitioner, they can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Eligible Families Who Can Immigrate to the United States

When someone petitions to bring family members to the United States, the sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Those applying for a Green Card through relatives may qualify if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Immediate relative of a United States citizen
  • Preference relative of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • An accompanying relative of an immediate relative or someone in a preference category

Who is Considered an Immediate Relative of a United States Citizen?

Immediate relatives may immigrate to the United States in unlimited numbers. They are not controlled by the annual quotas that many preference relatives endure.

The following types of foreign-born people qualify as immediate relatives:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried children (under the age of 21) of a U.S. citizen
  • Parents of U.S. citizens

Stepparents and stepchildren may qualify as immediate relatives if the marriage that created the relationship took place before the child turned 18 years of age. Parents and children who are related through adoption may also qualify as immediate relatives. For a more detailed insight on immediate relatives, contact an Alexandria family immigration lawyer today.

Classifying Preference Relatives

Preference relatives may have to wait in line, possibly for years, before applying for their Green Card.

Some categories of preference relatives include:

  • Unmarried children over 21 of a U.S. citizen;
  • Spouses of Green Card holders;
  • Unmarried children of Green Card holders (under 21 years of age);
  • Unmarried children of Green Card holders (21 or older);
  • Married children of a U.S. citizen; and
  • Siblings of a U.S. citizen, where the citizen is at least 21 years of age.

Talk to an Alexandria Family Immigration Attorney Today

Spending the time researching U.S. immigration fully can be arduous and stressful. With the help of a reputable Alexandria family immigration lawyer who specializes in family-based immigration, you will be able to understand the complexities of immigration law. A family immigration attorney will provide aggressive legal representation in your case. To learn more, call today.