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November 30,2021

Understanding Family-Based Immigration Petitions

There are many different grounds for immigration to the United States. Some petitions are sponsored by an employer. Some are made on humanitarian grounds, such as asylum for refugees or visas for victims of domestic violence. Many immigration petitions are made under family sponsorship. The experienced immigration lawyers at Miranda, Magden & Miranda have filed many successful family-based immigration petitions.

Learn more about how a family member can sponsor and support you at every stage of the immigration process.

Are There Different Types of Family-Sponsored Visas?

There are two main types of family visas. Immediate relative visas are available to the spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen. Because these visas are restricted to immediate family members, they are not restricted by an annual quota. This means that the applicant will not have to wait for a visa to become available before their application can be processed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the U.S. Department of State.

Family preference visas are available to the adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents. These visas are available to a wider category of family members and are restricted by an annual quota. Applicants must sometimes wait for months – or even years – for a visa to become available. Be sure you consult with an attorney about the best strategy for obtaining a family visa as soon as possible.

Obtaining a Green Card

Once someone receives a family-based visa, they can then seek a green card. A green card allows the immigrant to live and work in the U.S. as long as they remain eligible (for example, by not committing a violent felony or abandoning their status) and renewal of the card is required. A family member who is in the United States lawfully with a visa can sometimes apply for an “adjustment of status” to permanent resident and obtain their green card this way. If you are outside of the U.S., you can seek a green card through consular processing. You can discuss the process for your specific situation with an immigration lawyer. 

Once you have a green card, you are on the path to possible citizenship, and you can enjoy the benefits of living indefinitely in the U.S. with your family. However, the process of lawfully coming to the U.S. and getting lawful permanent resident status can have obstacles. To avoid any unnecessary delays or hiccups during the family-based immigration process, let our law firm help with your petition from the start.

Experienced California Immigration Lawyers for All Family Immigration Petitions

The experienced immigration lawyers at Miranda, Magden & Miranda are here to answer all your questions about family-based immigration petitions. Contact us to schedule a consultation. We offer two convenient office locations in Salinas and Monterey.

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