If you are a U.S. citizen and have family members living in another country, a family immigration attorney can help reunite you with your loved ones in the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain family members to receive a visa or green card. This overview will provide you with information on the types of family members you may petition for. To get started on the green card or visa application, consult with an experienced family immigration attorney.
U.S. citizens may petition for immediate relatives to be granted permanent residence status within the United States. The term “immediate relative” is defined by the USCIS to mean spouses, children (unmarried and under 21 years of age), and parents of U.S. citizens. Visas are always available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which means the family member(s) you are petitioning for will not need to wait in line for a visa. If your immediate relative(s) are currently living in the United States, an immigration attorney can help adjust their status and obtain a green card to receive all of the benefits of U.S. citizenship.
Other Family Members
Visas are granted to non-immediate family members on a preference basis. The visas allotted for non-immediate family members are subject to annual limits set for each preference category. “First preference” family members include unmarried adult children (21 or older). “Second preference” family members include spouses of green card holders, unmarried children of permanent residents (under 21), and unmarried adult children of permanent residents. “Third preference” residents are married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens. “Fourth preference” residents are siblings of adults U.S. citizens. A United States immigration attorney can provide you with information on current wait times for non-immediate family members.