Family-based immigration is the primary basis for legal immigration to the United States. U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) can petition for certain family members for a visa that provides legal permanent residence (green card). The knowledgeable attorneys at Mokolo Law Firm can help you and your family navigate the process that can be quite complex.
Depending on whether your relative is currently in the United States or abroad will determine if the processing of your petition and your relative’s adjustment of status will occur in the United States or abroad through the National Visa Center (NVC).
When it comes to family-based immigration, only two groups of people are eligible for family visas: immediate relatives and relatives in family preference categories. Visas are always available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This means your family member does not need to wait in line for a visa. Immediate relatives who are in the United States can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status at the same time as Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
Types of Immediate Relatives:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Children (unmarried and under 21) of U.S. citizens
- Parents of U.S. citizens (The petitioning citizen must be 21 or older.)
- A fiancé(e) residing outside the United States and children of fiancé(e) under 21
Preference categories apply to family members who are not immediate relatives. The visas allotted for these categories are subject to annual numerical limits. A visa becomes available to a preference category based on the priority date (the date the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative was filed).
Family Preference Categories:
- First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (adult means 21 or older.)
- Second Preference (2A): Spouses of Green Card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
- Second Preference (2B): Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens
Contact Mokolo Law Firm at 713-784-2906 and set up your consultation on how your relative can apply to adjust status.