Legal immigration to the United States is largely based on any family relationships that an aspiring immigrant might have here. An immigrant visa is required of any foreign national who wishes to reside in the United States. The first step to qualifying for an immigrant visa is for a foreign national to be sponsored by an immediate relative who is either a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and at least 21 years old. There are no limits on the number of family-based immigration visas that are issued in any given year for immediate family members. Those family members include:
- Unmarried children under the age of 21.
- Orphans who were legally adopted abroad.
- Orphans who will be legally adopted in the United States.
- Parents who are more than 21 years of age.
The Family Preference Category for More Distant Relatives
If the foreign national is a more distant relative or has a qualifying family relationship with a lawful permanent resident, he or she can still be sponsored for an immigrant visa, but there are limits on the number of such visas that can be issued every year. There are four preferences for this category. Those follow with the annual number of visas currently permitted each year:
- First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children (23,400).
- Second Preference: Spouses and unmarried children of who are under 21 years of age and unmarried adult children of permanent residents who are over 21 years of age (114,200).
- Third Preference: Regardless of age, the married children, their spouses and children of U.S. Citizens (23,400).
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters, their spouses and minor children of adult U.S. Citizens (65,000).
How to Get Started on the Process
The journey to the United States for a family member begins with a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident filing a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative along with supporting documentation with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The petition and supporting documents must prove the relationship between the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and the family member beneficiary. For more information about this process, you’ll want to contact Maison Law Immigration Lawyers and arrange for a consultation. We primarily provide services for residents of the Central Valley.
Why You Need a Quality Immigration Lawyer
Although family-based immigration might seem to be the easiest and most direct route to the United States, errors and omissions will likely be made by applicants if they try to submit a petition and supporting documents on their own. A simple change in the age or marital status of a beneficiary can also affect his or her eligibility for a family-based visa. With those risks in mind, coupled with constantly changing immigration laws, nobody wants to delay or jeopardize their petitions. That’s why both sponsors and beneficiaries need the guidance and counsel of a qualified and dedicated Central Valley immigration lawyer who can guide a sponsor and their family members through this complicated process.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer Today.
If you live in the Central Valley, and you plan on sponsoring a family member for purposes of immigrating to the United States, don’t try to navigate the immigration process on your own. The Central Valley immigration lawyers at Maison Law can guide you through the process of submitting your application and supporting documents. It’s in the best interests of your family to retain Central Valley immigration lawyers who know how to obtain the result you want without needless delays.