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Family-Based Visa Petition

Lynn Immigration Attorneys Committed to Keeping Families Together

If you are a resident of the United States and want to bring in family members from another country, you can do so using a family based visa protection. If you are interested in applying for a family based visa, contact the knowledgeable immigration attorneys of BOS Legal.

Immediate & Preference Relatives

Family based immigration is divided into immediate relatives and preference relatives. Immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and children who are under 21 years old. These individuals become immediately eligible for permanent residence in the United States. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens do not have a waiting list unlike other kinds of visa categories. Approximately 250,000 immigrant visas are issued annually to these immediate relatives.

Preference Relatives are limited by quotas, unlike the immediate relative category. Preference relatives are divided into four separate categories:

  • First preference - unmarried adult children of any age with one parent a U.S. citizen. 2) Second preference - spouses and children of U.S. permanent residence.
  • Second preference (group A): Spouses and children under 21 years old, of green card holders.
  • Second preference (group B): Unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders who are at least 21 years old.
  • Third preference - married children of U.S. citizen 4) Fourth Preference - sisters and brothers of U.S. citizens, where the U.S. citizen is at least age 21.

Other family preference categories include sons and daughters over 21 of U.S. citizens, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. Spouses and children under 21 of permanent residents must wait three or more years after filing the application for an available visa, while unmarried sons and daughters over 21 of permanent residents wait some five years or more.

These are the only family relationships which allow immigration to the U.S. USCIS has very specific definitions of what constitutes "children" (including step children and adopted children) and "parents". Family relationships are typically proven with documentary evidence like birth certificates, marriage certificates and other legal documentation. The USCIS closely scrutinizes family relationships to ensure that the anchor relationship is a bona fide one and not merely entered in order to confer immigration benefit on the foreign national.

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is the process of acquiring lawful permanent status by a non-immigrant residing within the U.S. It differs from consular processing which entails acquiring LPR status (green card) by a foreign national OUTSIDE of the United States. The process of adjustment of status is usually initiated by filing of an I-130 alien relative petition in family-based visa petitions and I-140 in employment-based visa petitions.

There are numerous rules and regulations regarding adjustment of status, and trying to make sense of them by yourself can quickly feel overwhelming. At BOS Legal, our Lynn immigration lawyers can guide you through the process step-by-step and help you better understand what it takes to get U.S. visas for your family.

For assistance applying for family based visas, contact BOS Legal today at (781) 596-0151.

Family Based Visa FAQs

  • I am originally from Cuba, but now an American Citizen, how can I bring my parents over here to live in the U.S. with me?
    There are two ways people can immigrate to the U.S. First, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can sponsor an alien through “family based petition” In a Family Based Petition, a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident can sponsor his/her immediate relative. A U.S. citizen can sponsor an immediate relative to come to the U.S. without numerical visa limitation. There are specific requirements with regard to what constitutes an immediate relative and you should consult an experienced Immigration Attorney if you’re planning to sponsor a family member to come to the U.S. In family based petitions, a visa will be immediately available for the alien and his/her dependents to come to the U.S. The second way an alien can immigrate to the U.S. is through Employment Based Petitions. There are five (5) different employment based categories in which an alien can immigrate to the U.S.
  • Can my spouse, who is a foreign national, stay in the U.S. now that we are married?
    Whether a foreign national can remain in the U.S. after marrying a U.S. citizen depends upon how he or she entered the U.S. An applicant who has legal status to stay in the U.S., such as a non-immigrant visa, may obtain lawful permanent residency by filing a petition for alien relative by the U.S. citizen spouse and an application for adjustment of status. If the foreign national entered the U.S. lawfully, but overstayed his/her visa, then the foreign national is removable; however, despite his/her removability he/she will be able to adjust his/her status if they are married to a U.S. citizen. On the contrary, if the foreign national entered the U.S. unlawfully, then the foreign national will not be able to adjust his or her status in the U.S. Instead, he or she must leave the country. If the foreign national is currently facing removal in immigration court, and if he/she is qualified for “voluntary departure” he/she may apply with the immigration judge for voluntary departure so that there is no record that the applicant had been ordered to be removed from the U.S., which may bar the foreign national from coming back to the U.S.