A Step-By-Step Approach To Family Immigration
When your family is spread across international borders, it can make life difficult emotionally, physically and financially. Spouses, parents, children and other relatives often hope to reunite with one another using family immigration petitions. The Villegas Law Office, PLLC, assists immigrant families by assessing their options and filing the necessary paperwork to bring everyone together.
Our law firm accepts other family law cases on a case-by-case basis. While we often help with immigration and birth certificate issues, occasionally we also assist with adoptions, guardianships and name changes.
Immediate Relative Green Card Petitions
Top immigration priority is given to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. There is no limit to the number of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas issued in any given year, so this is the fastest and typically the easiest family immigration petition process.
There are five visa types within this category:
- IR-1, which applies to the spouse of a U.S. citizen
- IR-2, which applies to unmarried children of a U.S. citizen up to age 21
- IR-3, which applies to orphans adopted by a U.S. citizen overseas
- IR-4, which applies to orphans adopted by a U.S. citizen in domestic family courts
- IR-5, which applies to parents of a U.S. citizen over age 21
In addition to the IR petition, the spouse or fiancé of a U.S. citizen may qualify for a K1 or K3 visa. The K1 allows a fiancé to travel to the U.S. for the marriage ceremony. A K3 shortens the separation period as spouses await approval of a pending IR-1 petition.
Family Preference Immigrant Visas
When a family member does not fit within the scope of immediate relatives, his or her immigration options are more limited. Distant relatives including grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins are not typically allowed to directly sponsor family immigration petitions. This often creates a series of family petitions where one relative will sponsor a second and so on.
Every year, the United States grants a limited number of family immigration petitions, sponsored by U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs; green card holders), from each of the following categories:
- F1, which applies to unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children
- F2, which applies to spouses and minor or unmarried adult children of LPRs
- F3, which applies to the married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and minor children
- F4, which applies to siblings of U.S. citizens at least 21 years of age, their spouses and minor children
A U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old to file a petition for parents or siblings. Depending on your family’s circumstances, this could result in lengthy delays in the petition process.
Contact A Family Immigration Attorney
The technical details of U.S. immigration law can be difficult. Without the help of an experienced immigration attorney, it can be easy to make mistakes that lead to delays or even a denial of your petition. We will clearly outline the steps you will need to take to make your immigration goals a reality.