There are multiple processes to legally immigrate to the United States, one of the most common being the family petition made by a United States citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
What kind of family members can I file the petition for?
The Citizenship and Immigration Service classifies family relationships into two types: “immediate relatives” and “preferential immigrants”.
The “immediate relatives” are the spouses, unmarried children under 21 years of age, and parents of US citizens. Immediate family members are not subject to any waiting period and can apply for US residency immediately through a US Embassy or adjust their status within the US.
On the other hand, “preferential immigrants” are separated into preference categories depending on kinship. Residences assigned to these categories are subject to annual statutory caps.
The preference categories are grouped as follows:
- First preference: unmarried children, over the age of 21, of US citizens.
- Second preference (2A): spouses and unmarried children, under 21 years of age, of permanent residents.
- Second preference (2B): unmarried children, over 21 years of age, of permanent residents.
- Third preference: married children of US citizens, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
- Fourth preference: siblings of US citizens, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
How do I file the family petition?
To file a family petition, you must submit to USCIS the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, along with evidence of your US citizenship or permanent residence status. Also, sufficient evidence to show your family relationship to the person for whom you are applying.
If you are a US citizen and your family member is already in the United States and legally entered the country, in certain cases you may, along with the I-130 application, file the I-485 application “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”.
Along with said request, you must also submit form I-864, “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA” and the necessary evidence to demonstrate that, as a petitioner, you have adequate financial means to sponsor the person who is petitioning.
To avoid a family petition being rejected, or a delay in processing times is generated, we recommend that you make the petition with the legal assistance of an immigration attorney.
How long will it take USCIS to process my application?
The processing time depends on a variety of factors, so it is difficult to be able to specify a time frame. The best way to track the progress of a family petition is to go to the USCIS website and view current processing times publications.
We invite you to contact us, coordinate an appointment and tell us about your project so we can help you make it possible.
Our Immigration Lawyer office in the United States is here to advise you from the beginning to the end of your immigration process. We have an immigration attorney office in Miami, Orlando and Por St. Lucie. If you are outside the United States, we offer Zoom appointments so that we can meet despite the distances.