Green Card Family Based
Green Card Family Based Lawyer Austin TX
To promote family unity, U.S. immigration law allows U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents to petition for eligible family members to obtain immigrant visas to come and live permanently in the United States or to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident if they are currently living in the United States provided certain eligibility requirements are met. Congress has placed limitations on the number of family members who can become permanent residents under the family preference categories which may take several months to several years.
Who is eligible for permanent residency?
A U.S citizen can sponsor
- Immediate relatives (non-quota) family members: spouses, children under the age of 21 and parents. The process normally begins with the filing of an immigrant visa petition (Form I-130). A visa for permanent residence is immediately available once the Immigration Service grants the petition. The processing times for the I-130 petition can vary. These times are listed at the USCIS website. Â
- Family preference category: The four preference categories are:
First preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters at least 21 years of age
Third preference (F3): Married sons and daughters at least 21 years of age
Fourth preference (F4): Brothers and sisters at least 21 years of age
A Permanent Resident can sponsor
- Second preference (F2A): Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years
- Second Preference (F2B): Unmarried sons and daughters 21years and older
An immigrant petition for a relative sponsored under the F1 through F4 would not require separate petitions for the relative spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age. However, an immigrant petition for an immediate family member requires separate petition for each family member.
Can someone living illegally in U.S. be eligible for a green card?
Since U.S. immigration law offers many different ways for immigrants to become lawful permanent residents, one may be eligible to remain in the U.S. even if he/she has been living in the U.S. illegally or his/her prior immigration application has been denied by USCIS.
What are some other categories under which one may qualify?
- Fiance/Spouse Visas: An US citizen fiance who is unable to travel abroad to get married may petition to bring his/her foreign national fiance to the U.S for a wedding with a K1 visa (which lasts for 90 days) and after getting married the foreign national spouse may apply for a green card to stay in United States.
- Green card for battered spouse, Child or parent of US citizen: A battered spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen may self-petition for an immigrant visa petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), without the abuser’s knowledge and may be eligible to file for a Green Card if the petition is approved.
What are the different steps of the Green Card Process?
- First step:Immigrant petition. The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident files an immigrant petition with the USCIS for family based immigration for the foreign national relative.
- Second step: Immigrant visa availability. Depending on the quotas and restrictions in the family based category in which the petition is filed, the beneficiary must wait for the immigrant petition to be approved. Once approved, case is transferred to the National Visa Center and the Department of State must determine whether an immigrant visa number is immediately available to the foreign national even if the individual is already in the U.S. The quota system is not applicable to the immediate relatives and can therefore be disregarded.
- Third step: Adjudication. Once the immigrant visa number is available and the priority date is current, the family member applies for either adjustment of status to permanent residence if already in US or applies for an immigrant visa through consular processing in the home country.
EAD and Travel Documents
By filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, a person may also file for an Employment Authorization Document to work in the United States and file for a travel document to travel outside the United States and return.
I-864 Affidavit of Support
- All family based immigrants, including immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, are required to submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, with their adjustment application (Form I-485) to show USCIS that the family member has the financial ability to come and live in the United States without becoming a public charge.
- For Adjustment of Status applications based on approved family based petitions (Form I-130), the affidavit of support must be submitted by the sponsoring USC or permanent resident. All sponsors must be USC or permanent residents, over the age of 18, and live in the United States or a territory of the United States.
How Ghoshal Law can help you pursue a positive outcome
An incomplete or improperly filed application may result in unforeseen difficulties and denials or cause an individual to provide additional documentation or re-file cases. Re-filing is sometimes not possible because important deadlines may be missed.
Ghoshal Law can guide you through the complicated process by assessing your case to determine whether you meet all the eligibility criteria, by identifying potential grounds for denial, by guiding you in collecting supporting evidence, preparing applications and submission packets for applications and filing with USCIS on your behalf ,preparing work authorization requests and travel permits and handling all USCIS communications and requests for additional information.
Contact Ghoshal Law today for a consultation with attorney Snigdha Ghoshal.