Bringing Family From Abroad
U.S. immigration law recognizes the importance of keeping families together. Family-based immigration is one of the most common pathways toward permanent residence and citizenship. It’s important to get a professional assessment of your options when considering family-based immigration to the United States.
At Ramos Immigration Law in Longmont and Aurora, Colorado, we can walk you through what to expect. Our immigration attorneys Francesca Ramos, Maggie McDermett and Tyler Louth have a combined 25 years of immigration law experience. We handle all facets of family-based immigration and fiancé(e) visas. Just as we have helped numerous families successfully navigate the complex immigration process, we can help you, too.
An Overview Of The Process
Permanent residents and U.S. citizens can petition for certain family members – such as spouses, children, siblings and parents – to become green card holders.
Yet petitioning for a family member can be an extremely complicated and time-consuming process. Much depends on your unique circumstances, including:
- Your relationship with the family member
- Your immigration status (whether you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident)
- Your family member’s country of origin
- Whether your family member is inside the U.S. or abroad
- Whether your family member is undocumented
Certain family members who are already in the United States may be eligible for adjustment of status, a generally easier and faster process that does not require leaving the country. Undocumented family members and those outside the U.S., however, may have to pursue consular processing in their home country. Unless one of several exception applies, our firm can determine which path is available to you.
How Long Will It Take?
Immigration law limits the number of family-based visas that can be awarded to prospective immigrants each year. Immediate relatives (spouses, unmarried children under age 21 and parents) of U.S. citizens are not subject to this limit, and they can avoid lengthy wait times for a visa number.
For all other family members, however, the law establishes preference categories based on your family relationship and your status as a citizen or permanent resident. Your relative’s country of origin also plays a key role. The sooner you file a proper petition, the sooner you will essentially reserve a spot “in line.”
As a prospective immigrant, your family member must individually qualify to become a green card holder. Certain factors – such as criminal activity, previous immigration violations and unlawful (undocumented) presence in the U.S. – can complicate or even derail your loved one’s ability to pursue a green card.
It’s important to identify potential problems before you embark on the expensive immigration process. We can alert you to any issues and guide you through possible ways to overcome obstacles – for example, by pursuing waivers.
Get Professional Guidance
As you can see, family-based immigration is a complex endeavor that involves many moving parts. The sooner you seek qualified legal guidance, the better.