U.S. immigration law has long provided a system of immigrating through certain family relationships. Once the petitioning relative has filed the appropriate paperwork with the U.S. immigration agency, the process of immigrating through family can be quite prompt, or it can take many years depending on the kind of family relationship involved.
Generally, adult U.S. citizens can petition for their spouses, minor children, and parents, as well as their fiancé(e)s. These close relatives are known as "immediate relatives of U.S. citizens", and once the immigrant family petition is approved, the individual can move on to the next step of actually applying for an immigrant visa or, if eligible, for adjustment of status.
Other relatives of a U.S. citizen, such as adult children and siblings, can also immigrate through family channels. Lawful permanent residents are eligible to file immigrant visa petitions for their spouses and their unmarried children. However, for these individuals, there is only a limited number of immigrant visas available on a yearly basis. And because the number of petitions filed to claim one of these visas far exceeds the number of visas available, the result is a lengthy waiting list that - for some categories of relatives - often exceeds 15 years.
In addition to the process of preparing and filing family immigrant petitions, there remains the application for an immigrant visa with the U.S. embassy or consulate (or adjustment of status inside the U.S. for eligible persons) and any needed for waivers for those who may otherwise be ineligible to receive their visas on account of prior immigration violations or criminal violations.
Benson & Benson has years of experience in every kind of family-based immigration matter. We are able to quickly analyze your prospective case and prepare a plan of action to help you and your family achieve your immigration goals. Call or contact us for a consultation, and let us help bring you and your family home.