Family Based Immigration
A family member (spouse, parent, child 21 or older, or sibling) may petition for a family member to start the process of permanent residence status or green card. The petitioning relative is referred to as the ‘Petitioner,’ and must either be U.S. citizen or permanent resident and files Form-I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The family member being petitioned is referred to as the applicant or beneficiary. After approval of the petition, visa must become available prior to applying for green card. Depending on the petitioning relative’s immigration status and relationship, and age of the applicant or beneficiary, visa may be immediate upon the approval of the I-130 Petition, or take several years. Usually, visa is immediate when the petitioner is U.S. citizen, and the beneficiary is the spouse, child under 21 years of age, or parent of the petitioner. However, the ability to obtain green card requires that the beneficiary is admissible, which generally requires that beneficiary has not violated U.S. immigration laws and does not have disqualifying criminal convictions. However, most violations including certain criminal convictions may be waived or excused. In addition, violation of unlawful entry or entry without inspection may be waived either through (I-601 or I-601A) waivers which generally require establishing extreme hardships to an immediate U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative (spouse or parent). In addition, beneficiary with immediate family member (spouse, parent or child under 21 years of age) in the U.S. Military, may qualify for Parole in Place for Family Members of the U.S. Military, which excuses the unlawful entry. The U.S. Immigration family based green card process is highly complex and requires working with various U.S. government agencies. Please contact us for a consultation to determine what options you may have to qualify for permanent resident or green card status.