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Qualifications for Family Immigration

Qualifications for Family Immigration

Qualifications for Family Immigration

The journey to U.S. citizenship can make individuals feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Immigration policies frequently change, which only adds to the confusion. The process can be even more difficult for families since they wish to share a future together. 

If you are exploring your family’s immigration options, you should know the qualifications needed to apply for the many immigrant visas available. Protect your family’s unity alongside an experienced immigration attorney. Our team at Vestal Immigration Law is prepared to do what it takes to keep your family together. At a consultation, we can help you explore the various opportunities for family-based immigration and whether you qualify. 

Family-Based Immigration Options

Federal immigration law allows foreign family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain a green card depending on several conditions, including their relationship with the family member. A foreign national seeking U.S. citizenship will need to obtain an family based immigrant visa. In most cases, the petitioning U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident needs to be at least 21 years old. There always needs to be a qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the family member. This is called a qualifying relative. 

There are two kinds of qualifying relative categories for immigrant visas for families, each with its own qualifications: 

  • Immediate Relative. These visas are granted based on a close family connection, such as a spouse, parent, or child who is a citizen of the United State. This visa category can have an unlimited number of immigrants per fiscal year. 
  • Family Preference. Other family relatives to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may receive a family based green card based on family preference category. This category allows a limited number of immigrants per fiscal year. Spouses of legal permanent residents, adult children of U.S. citizens, and siblings of U.S. citizens may be eligible based on “preference immigrant” categories. 

If you are looking to petition for a family member, the people in which you are eligible to petition for changes based on if you are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder). Family members who qualify for a green card are given a category preference based on their relationship to the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

If you have a fiancé or a  fiancée who resides outside of the U.S., you may petition for him or her to receive a Fiancé(e) visa. To apply, you must have met your foreign partner in person within the past two years, both of you need to be eligible to freely married – meaning neither of you are married to another person, and absent any other bars of admission to the United States. An attorney can help you better understand the K-1 visa application process. 

Eligibility for an Adjustment of Status

Those currently residing in the U.S. may be able to adjust their status and receive a green card if the foreign national is an immediate relative. If the foreign national is in a preference category, there has to be a visa available, there has been no lapse in authorized stay, no work without authorization, or any other bars to being granted your legal permanent residency. 

Discuss Family-Based Immigration Options With an Attorney

Your family has several pathways to pursue U.S. citizenship, and our attorney is ready to explore each option with you. Achieve your dreams with Vestal Immigration Law. Call now to set up an appointment to discuss your individual circumstances.

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