We know how difficult it can be when families are separated, and how daunting the immigration process can seem. We can help you through every step of this process, from advising on your eligibility for family-based immigration classifications, to helping you file an application for full U.S. citizenship. We take pride in this part of our professional work and take satisfaction in seeing families settled and united.
Bearing in mind that to be eligible to immigrate to the United States through a family visa, you must have a direct relationship with a United States citizen or permanent resident, family applications normally fall under two categories:
1. Immediate Relatives
This category is reserved for the “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens, defined as:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens;
- Minor children of U.S. citizens (under the age of 21)
- Parents of U.S. citizens (providing that the citizen petitioner is at least 21 years of age).
Note: Special provisions exist for the spouses of deceased U.S. citizens.
2. Preference Categories
Other family relationships are eligible for sponsorship under the following preference categories:
- First Preference
Sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who are unmarried, adult, and aged twenty-one years or older
- Second Preference
Spouses, unmarried sons and unmarried daughters of lawful permanent residents
- Third Preference
Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Fourth Preference
Brothers and sisters of United States citizens, provided the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age
Under the preference categories, a spouse or child of the beneficiary is entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join, the spouse or parent.
Some important factors to keep in mind…
If you are considering applying to immigrate in a family-based category, it is important that you contact us to discuss your circumstances. And please keep the following factors in mind:
- All applicants immigrating through the family-based category must obtain a legally binding Affidavit of Support from their sponsor as a condition of admission.
- Your sponsor must be: at least 18 years of age; a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; living in the United States; and able to financially support the family member being sponsored.
- All applicants, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination by a designated doctor before an immigrant visa can be issued. This is compulsory.
- All applicants aged sixteen years or over must submit a police certificate from the authorities of each locality of the country of the applicant’s nationality or current residence where the applicant has resided for at least six months since attaining the age of sixteen. Police certificates are also required from all other countries where the applicant has resided for at least one year. A police certificate must be obtained from the police authorities of any place where the applicant has been arrested for any reason, regardless of how long he or she lived there. Police certificates must cover the entire period of the applicant’s residence in any area.
- U.S. government filing fees are non-refundable.