Family Green Cards
Personal Understanding Of Your Immigration Concerns
While some immigration law firms limit their service to document processing and advice, we know immigration is about more than that.
We understand the pain of family separation, and provide personal service in a supportive atmosphere. Our staff includes people who emigrated from their countries and have experienced the delays, doubts and separation that family immigration can bring.
We can help you resolve any family immigration legal challenge you face, including working to have your family join you in the U.S., or working to help you and your family remain here legally once you have arrived. We have helped hundreds of people petition for immigration benefits for their spouse, children, parents and other relatives.
Basic Elements Of Immigrating Through A Family Member
Identifying who can sponsor a family member to immigrate is the first step in seeking lawful permanent residence (also known as a green card or immigrant visa). The person intending to sponsor a family member is the petitioner. The person intending to obtain lawful permanent residence is called the beneficiary, and any qualifying dependent family members of the beneficiary are referred to as dependant or derivative beneficiaries.
The petitioner must have a qualifying familial relationship with the beneficiary. For this purpose, the petitioner files an alien relative petition (I-130) to verify that the petitioner maintains the appropriate sponsor status (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) and that a qualifying relationship exists with the beneficiary.
The petitioner must establish that sponsorship fits in one of the categories through the filing of the alien relative petition. The date of filing is referred to as the priority date. Members in the "immediate relative" group are afforded the highest priority. Unlike the other preference categories, an immediate relative petitioner need not wait for a visa to become available after the petition is approved making the visa process relatively shorter than the other categories.
Generally (with some notable exceptions), the lower the preference category the longer the processing times. The age of certain beneficiaries at the time of filing the petition is critical when seeking an immigrant visa. Additionally, turning 21 years of age could potentially affect the petition. The Child Status Protection Act is a set of complex rules that may allow the beneficiary to maintain his petition and ability to seek an immigrant visa. Thus, it is important to seek legal advice especially in cases involving children who are turning 21 years or have turned 21 during the processing.
The second step in obtaining a green card for a family member is to identify where the beneficiary will be applying for lawful permanent residence. If the beneficiary is eligible and intends to apply in the United States the process is called adjustment of status. If the beneficiary seeks the green card with a U.S. Consulate Office abroad, this is referred to as consular processing. It is important to seek legal advice before applying for lawful permanent residence to determine whether the applicant is eligible.
Family Immigration Law Is Complex. We Can Make It Simple For You.
Family immigration law involves a multitude of individual statutes that cover an almost endless range of circumstances. We have worked with individuals from throughout the United States, and many countries around the World. At Salinas Law Firm, our goal is to unite families. Whether you are here legally or illegally, we can help.
If you have questions regarding family immigration law, including visa petitions, contact us. We speak Spanish; accept credit cards. Contact the Houston immigration attorney at Salinas Law Firm, at 713.518.1711 or write to us using our online form.