What to Know About Family Immigration Law

When it comes to immigration laws, it can be a little confusing, to say the least. Not only are you dealing with a language barrier, but you also need to deal with various departments of the government and embassies to get family members approved. In this article, we’re going to go over some of the most common questions that come up about a family immigration visa and green card petitions.

Who Can I Petition For?

Your family immigration lawyer can help you to file a green card petition for various types of family members. You must be an official U.S. Citizen to file these petitions. These include:

  • Spouses
  • Parents
  • Minor Children
  • Siblings
  • Fiances
  • Unmarried Adult Children Over 21
  • Married Adult Children Over 21

As a general rule of thumb, it’s going to be easiest to obtain permanent residence for those family members who fall into the minor children and spouses categories. These two categories of family members are considered immediate relatives by the USCIS. This exempts them from having to undergo via backlogs that could take years.

If you are a permanent U.S. resident, the rules change when it comes to green card petitions. Instead of being able to file for all the family categories above, you’re only limited to a select few. These include minor children who are under the age of 21 and not married, spouses, and unmarried adult children over 21.

Is The Visa Upgrade Strategy Right For Me?

Any good family based immigration lawyer will be familiar with the visa upgrade strategy. This involves a U.S. permanent resident filing a green card petition for a family member. After the petition is filed, the resident naturalizes and becomes a full blow U.S. citizen.

In this case, the priority date of the initial petition is still recognized as well as the upgraded status of the person filing the petition. This strategy is thought to make visa times quicker for those who they filed for in the past. The effectiveness of this strategy is going to highly depend on the country your family member is living in. Seeking the counsel of an immigration lawyer Los Angeles can help you to determine if the visa upgrade strategy will be an effective one for you.

How Do I Become A U.S. Citizen?

Unless you’re born in the United States, you must undergo a process of naturalization before being deemed a U.S. citizen. You’ll be required to meet a specific set of criteria to even be eligible for citizen status. First, you must be admitted to the United States as a permanent resident. You can be admitted as a permanent resident through a few different routes. The most common is having a U.S. citizen petition for your family immigration visa.

Next, you’ll need to live in the United States for five continuous years. When you finally file for U.S. citizenship with the help of your family immigration lawyer, you’ll need to remain in the same state. It’s required that you have permanent residence for at least three full months in one state before applying for citizenship. You’ll need to remain in the same location throughout the naturalization application until you’re sworn in to be a U.S. citizen.

Each applicant must possess the basic abilities to write, read, and speak English. You must have a basic understanding of U.S. history and the government. You’ll need to show that you have a good moral character that follows the values of the United States constitution, and you must be at least 18 years of age.

What Is Employment-Based Immigration?

You’ve already learned that family based immigration is when a family member files for a visa on your behalf. An employment-based visa is fairly similar except instead of a family member applying for your visa, your employer does. In technical terms, a U.S. citizen from the company will sponsor your request for a visa.

Should I Hire A Family Based Immigration Lawyer?

It’s always advisable to hire an immigration lawyer Los Angeles to assist you in filing a petition for a green card or visa. They have knowledge about the immigration process that can help to expedite the process. Trying to read through the legal jargon and identify what paperwork you need to fill out can be difficult, to say the very least. It’s best to have a knowledgeable representative by your side.

It’s also important to note that an experienced lawyer will be able to inform you of what to expect from the process. They’ve gone through filing petitions the whole way up to getting transformed into a U.S. citizen. They can answer your questions and ensure you’re filing the proper paperwork on time to give you the best chance at your petition.