Bucks County Family Based Immigration Lawyer

Family based immigration permits an individual to gain lawful permanent resident status (a green card) based on a petition filed by a qualifying relative who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (a green card holder). A Family Based Petition is filed by a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident who wishes to assist a qualifying relative to come to the United States as an immigrant. A Family Based Petition can also help gain lawful permanent resident status for a family member who is already present in this country, even if the relative is in removal proceedings before a United States Immigration Judge.

There are two types of petitions that may be filed in order to gain Family Based Immigration. The first is an immediate relative petition. The second is a family based immigration petition for a non-immediate relative. The difference is that immediate relatives do not need to wait for a visa to become available, however non immediate relatives may need to wait perhaps for several years. The length of the wait depends on the relationship between the petitioner and the relative who seeks to immigrate.

Immediate Relatives

A United States citizen can petition for his or her immediate relatives without the need to wait for a visa to become available. Immediate relatives of a United States citizen include: spouses, unmarried children of the United States citizen if the children are under 21 years of age, orphans adopted by the United States citizen, or parents of the United States citizen if the United States citizen is at least 21 years old. Again, these petitions do not require a waiting period for a visa to become available; however, they typically require a few months to a year to process from beginning to end.

Family Preference

A United States citizen or lawful permanent resident may also petition for a family member who is not considered by law to be an immediate relative. Because these family members are not immediate relatives, the law requires that they wait for a visa to become available before they are eligible to petition for a green card. Non immediate relatives include: unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of US citizens; spouses, children and unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders; unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of green card holders; married sons and daughters of US citizens; and brothers and sisters of adult US citizens. The length of time required for a visa to become available depends on the category of relationship between the citizen and the relative who seeks to immigrate.

The immigration process requires the filing of numerous forms and extensive supporting documentation, as well as interviews with government officials. Because Family Petitions often require months or years to complete, it is essential that they be completed correctly in order to avoid potential delays or even denial of the petition. A Bucks County immigration lawyer can represent you in even the most complex or challenging of cases. We will be able to guide you through the process and offer you insights regarding what you may expect during the process of your case.

Contact a Bucks County immigration lawyer with all question and concerns online or call for a free consultation: (215) 437-3058 (Bucks County immigration lawyer) and (609) 257-4976 (Trenton).

This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.