Family Immigration Attorney Referral Service

A foreign-born person who is permitted to reside permanently in California, United States, may be joined by his immediate family members through the proper applications for family immigration.

What is Family Immigration?

Family immigration is the area of immigration law that deals with various legal avenues for a foreign-born person to enter and live in the United States. It includes the different rules affecting the eligibility and application process for the issuance of green cards, other visas, citizenship, sponsorship and other related issues.

As a rule, citizens of the United States and holders of permanent resident visas can ‘sponsor’ or petition an immediate relative by submitting the relevant form or petition for the issuance of a green card at the US consular office. However, the family member who is the subject of the petition must first satisfy certain conditions in order to qualify for a green card.

Close family relationship is a key factor in the approval of family immigration applications. If you are a US citizen, you can petition for your:

  • Spouse
  • Child under 21 years old
  • Parent (if you are over 21 years old)
  • Unmarried child over 21 years old and their children
  • Married child of any age and their children
  • Siblings and their spouses and children

The order in which the immediate family member appears on the list of qualified applicants shall also determine priority in obtaining approvals. Thus, your spouse and minor child will most likely be able to obtain a permanent resident visa or green card sooner than your parents or brothers and sisters.

On the other hand, permanent residents can only petition their spouses, children under 21 years old and their unmarried children over 21 years old. There are two ways for children to apply for a green card:

  • As a derivative beneficiary or person entitled to join or follow a green card applicant, and
  • As a lead beneficiary with a separate application for permanent residence status.

Specific eligibility requirements apply to derivative beneficiary and lead beneficiary applications. An immigration lawyer can help you determine which application form to use depending on your circumstances.

Why do you need a family immigration lawyer?

Immigration law is a complex area of practice that can be confusing, and the application process overwhelming for many people. Approval of visa applications are discretionary and not a matter of right.

The burden is upon the applicant to show that he or she has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications to obtain a permanent resident visa. Supplying accurate and truthful information in your application forms is vital.

False statements made in the application form can adversely affect the outcome of your application. Falsity of information may not only result in a denial but also bar you from submitting a subsequent application for a long period of time.

Your California family immigration lawyer can help your family members obtain a green card by providing legal advice and assistance in completing the application forms.

You may also need a family immigration lawyer when:

  • Special circumstances may disqualify you from obtaining a green card or from sponsoring a family member (e.g. conviction of a crime)
  • You or your immediate family member faces deportation
  • A prior application has been denied
  • A child being petitioned is about to reach the age of 21 before the application is acted upon
  • You need a visa on the basis of an employment offer and the prospective employer does not handle your family immigration process for you
  • You started filling out the application form and are confused about the information to be supplied in the form
  • You have submitted an application and a considerable period of time has passed without any action on it
  • You are a legal permanent resident and you wish to apply for citizenship and want to petition children in the meantime
  • You have a complex situation that requires careful study and correct application of relevant immigration laws and rules

In California, immigrant applicants have fallen prey to unscrupulous persons posing as ‘immigrant consultants’ and illegally representing themselves as lawyers. When choosing a family immigration lawyer, a reputable referral service can provide licensed and competent lawyers who can assess your situation and provide appropriate advice in order to achieve your desired outcomes. Contact us at 818-340-4529.