Annapolis Family Immigration Lawyer

If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), an Annapolis family immigration lawyer may be able to help you bring a child, parent, or spouse to the United States. You may also be able to bring over a sibling if you are a U.S. citizen.

As a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you have the right to “sponsor” family members from abroad who wish to reside in the United States. The application and sponsoring process can be complicated and extensive, and even the slightest error can result in a delay or denial. For this reason, you may want to hire a seasoned family immigration attorney to help you and your family member complete the process.

Sponsorship Basics

Citizens of the United States and lawful permanent residents (holders of Green Cards) may sponsor a family member from abroad. To do this, their relative in the U.S. must file an Affidavit of Support to prove they can support them. Relatives in the U.S. who can only afford to partially sponsor a relative may still be allowed to file an Affidavit of Support with the addition of a co-sponsor.

Each year, the U.S. government places a limit on the number of family-based immigrants in certain classes each year. Relatives belonging to these classes, also known as “preference categories,” will have to wait a certain period of time before they can receive an immigrant visa number. A visa number can only be issued once a petition is approved, but immediate relatives, such as children, spouses, and parents of U.S. citizens do not have to wait to receive an immigrant visa number.

Preference Categories

As mentioned above, immediate relatives, including children, parents, and spouses of U.S. citizens will not have to wait for visa availability. Relatives outside the immediate family of U.S. citizens and all relatives of lawful permanent residents will be placed in a preference category.  The higher the preference category, usually the shorter the wait time for a visa will be. The immigration preference categories are as follows:

  • Family first preference: includes unmarried, adult (over 21 years old) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Family second preference:  included minor children, spouses, and unmarried adult (over 21 years old) sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents
  • Family third preference: includes married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, as well as their children and spouses
  • Family fourth preference: includes siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as their children and spouses (the sponsor must be at least 21 years old)

If a category contains too many applicants, immigrant visas will be issued in the order in which their petitions until each category limit is reached. In crowded categories, applicants may have to wait several years before their petition is processed. An Annapolis family immigration lawyer can help U.S. citizens and permanent residents file timely petitions without any delays.

Steps of the Family Immigration Visa Application Process

There are several steps of the immigration visa application process. First, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident must file an I-130 application to petition for their relative. Second, the relative of the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must file an Immigrant Visa Application and a variety of documents once the I-130 has been approved. Between this step and the final decision, the relative applying for an immigrant visa must have their fingerprints taken, undergo a background check, and attend an interview at a U.S. embassy.

If the relative is in the U.S., he or she may be able to apply for adjustment by filing Form I-485 and not have to leave the United States and file an Immigrant Visa Application to obtain their lawful permanent resident status.  Whether this is possible is something that should be discussed with a family immigration lawyer.

Let an Annapolis Family Immigration Attorney Assist You

The U.S. government takes the immigration visa application process very seriously, and if you do not file an application and complete all the necessary documents, your family member(s) may face serious delays. A family immigration lawyer may be able to help you avoid this and file a successful petition.

Contact an Annapolis family immigration lawyer today to learn more about family immigration law.

Annapolis Immigration Lawyer