Family Immigration

family immigration

Family Immigration in the US can be a complex process.  This country promotes family unity, but for a successful outcome it’s important to work with an experienced and dedication immigration firm like Schunk Law.

U.S. citizens can petition for a green card for their spouse, children, and (if the petitioner is 21 or older) parents and siblings. A citizen’s immediate relatives — spouse, unmarried children under 21, parents — have special immigration priority with a visa number immediately available.

Permanent residents can petition for a green card for their spouse and unmarried children (any age).  Note that there is a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available in this category because Congress limits the number of relatives who may immigrate each year.

An adjustment application is an adjustment of status application by which eligible individuals can get their permanent resident status (green card).

RELATIVES INSIDE THE U.S.

FILINGS BY U.S. CITIZENS

family-immigationFiancé Filing Requirements

  • A U.S. citizen can file a green card petition for his/her foreign fiancé only if that person is not physically in the U.S.
  • Generally, the fiancé must maintain independent lawful status until there is a marriage to the U.S. citizen.
  • Adjustment of status application can be filed immediately after the marriage to allow the new foreign spouse to obtain a green card without leaving the U.S.

 Marriage Filing Requirements

  • S. citizens can file an adjustment of status petition on behalf of their foreign spouse while they are in the U.S.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the immigration status of the spouse.
  • Generally, the process takes 3 to 8 months.
  • The spouse will obtain a work-card while waiting for the green card interview.

 Children Filing Requirements

  • S. citizens can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of their children.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the age, priority date, and immigration status of the child.
  • Generally, the process takes 3 to 8 months.
  • The spouse will obtain a work-card while waiting for the green card interview; this allows children to obtain a social security number, driver’s license, and work when of age.

 Parents Filing Requirements

  • S. citizens can file an adjustment petition on behalf of their foreign parents while they are in the U.S.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the immigration status of the parents.
  • Generally, the process takes 3 to 8 months.
  • The parents will obtain a work-card while waiting for the green card interview.

Siblings Filing Requirements

  • S. citizens can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of their siblings.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) will depend on the priority date and the immigration status of the sibling.
  • Generally, siblings must maintain independent lawful status while waiting for the priority date to be current.

FILINGS BY GREEN CARD HOLDERS/LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS (LPRs)

Fiancé Filing Requirements

  • An LPR cannot file for his/her foreign fiancé.
  • An LPR must obtain U.S. citizenship in order to apply for his/her fiancé, or the fiancé must have independent status inside the U.S.

Marriage Filing Requirements

  • An LPR can file an I-130 on behalf of his/her foreign spouse.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the priority date and the immigration status of the spouse.
  • Generally, spouses must maintain independent lawful status while waiting for the priority date to be current and/or their LPR spouse to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Children Filing Requirements

  • LPRs can file an I-130 on behalf of their children.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the priority date and the immigration status of the child.
  • Generally, children must maintain independent lawful status while waiting for the priority date to be current and/or their LPR parent to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Parents and Siblings Filing Requirements

  • LPRs cannot file for their parents or for their siblings.

DEFERRED ACTION for CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)

DACA is an immigration policy passed by executive action by President Obama in 2012. It confers non-immigrant legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday, and prior to June 2007.  These immigrants receive a renewable 2-year work permit and are exempt from deportation.

Eligibility requirements for DACA with USCIS

You can apply for DACA status if you…

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  2. Came to the U.S. before reaching your 16th birthday
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

RELATIVES OUTSIDE THE U.S.

Happy coupleNote on waiting periods: all relatives outside the U.S. are subject to waiting periods.  Generally, the closer the relationship of the relative, the shorter the waiting period will be.

FILINGS BY U.S. CITIZENS

Fiancé Filing Requirements Petition

  • A U.S. citizen can file for his/her foreign fiancé if that person is not physically in the U.S.
  • For this petition to be approved, the couple must legally be able to be married, generally be over 18 years old, and they must have physically met at least once within the last 2 years.

 Marriage Filing Requirements

  •  A U.S. citizen can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of his/her foreign spouse not physically in the U.S.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the spouse’s immigration history.
  • Once the priority date is “current”, the process allows the foreign spouse to have an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain an immigrant visa (green card).

Children Filing Requirements

  • S. citizens can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of their children not physically in the U.S.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on age/ marital status / and the priority date.
  • Once the priority date is “current”, the process allows the foreign children to have an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain an immigrant visa (green card).

Parents Filing Requirements

  • S. citizens can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of their parents not physically in the U.S.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the parents’ immigration history.
  • Once the priority date is “current”, the process allows the foreign parents to have an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain an immigrant visa (green card).

Siblings Filing Requirements

  • S. citizens can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of their siblings not physically in the U.S.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the priority date.
  • Once the priority date is “current”, the process allows the foreign spouse to have an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain an immigrant visa (green card).

FILINGS BY GREEN CARD HOLDERS (LPRs):

Fiancé Filing Requirements

  • An LPR cannot file for his/her foreign fiancé.
  • An LPR must obtain U.S. citizenship in order to apply for his/her fiancé as part of K-1 visa petition (non-immigrant visa permitting travel to US for the purpose of marriage).
  • The couple must legally be able to be married and they must have physically met at least once within the last 2 years.

Marriage Filing Requirements

  • An LPR can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of his/her foreign spouse.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the priority date.
  • Once the priority date is “current”, the process allows the foreign spouse to have an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain an immigrant visa (green card).
  • The process is usually expedited once the LPR has gained U.S. citizenship.

Children Filing Requirements

  • LPRs can file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on behalf of their children.
  • The ability to process the petition and subsequent eligibility to file for adjustment (green card) depends on the priority date.
  • Once the priority date is “current”, the process allows the foreign children to have an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain an immigrant visa (green card).
  • The process may be expedited once the LPR has gained U.S. citizenship.

Parents and Siblings Filing Requirements

  • LPRs cannot file for their parents or for their siblings.