Los Angeles Family-Based Residency Lawyer
Bringing Your Loved Ones to the U.S.
To promote family unity, immigration law allows
lawful permanent residents (“Green Card Holders”) and
citizens of the United States to petition for certain eligible family members to
obtain immigrant visas to come live permanently in the United States or
to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident status if they are
currently living in the United States.
Some family-based visas our immigration attorneys can assist with include
Additionally, we can assist with any
immigration issues for same-sex married couples,
Parole in Place for military dependents, and
provisional unlawful presence waivers.
Who Can Petition for Their Family Members?
Only United States citizens 21 and over and lawful permanent residents
may petition for their family members.
On Behalf of What Family Members Can a U.S. Citizen File a Petition?
U.S. Citizens 21 and over may petition for their spouse, unmarried children
under age 21, unmarried son or daughter age 21 or older, married son or
daughter of any age, brothers or sisters (Petitioner must be age 21 or
older) and mother or father (Petitioner must be age 21 or older).
On Behalf of What Family Members Can a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident File
U.S. lawful permanent residents may petition for their spouse, unmarried
children under age 21, and unmarried son or daughter age 21 or older.
What Are the Preference Categories for a Family-Based Visa?
There are five different relationships that are considered "preference
visas," meaning depending on the relationship to the petitioner,
these people must wait for an available visa. The five preference categories are:
- Unmarried child of a U.S. citizen
- Spouse and unmmaried child of a legal permanent resident
- Unmarried child of a legal permanent resident
- Married child of a U.S. citizen
- Sibling of a U.S. citizen
Certain relatives of U.S. citizens are categorized as "immediate relatives,"
which allows them to apply for permanent residence immediately.
Who Is an Immediate Relative and How Does It Affect the Immigration Case?
The term “immediate relative” is used to define certain immigrant
relatives of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives include:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Children (unmarried and under 21) of U.S. citizens
- Parents of U.S. citizens (The petitioning citizen must be 21 or older.)
Whether your family member is considered an immediate relative matters
because visas are always available for immediate relatives, which means
that your family member does not need to wait in line for a visa. Immediate
relatives who are in the United States can adjust their status to lawful
permanent resident status along with their family petition so long as
they were “admitted” by an immigration official and in special
What is the Process for Filing a Family-Based Immigration Petition?
The process for petitioning your family member is dependent on whether
or not they are currently residing in the United States.
For family members already residing in the United States - Your family
member can apply to adjust their status by filling out Form I-485. Once
there is an available visa number, they can then become a Green Card holder.
For family members residing outside the United States - You would send
your petition to the National Visa Center, or NVC. Once there is an available
visa number, the NVC will forward your petition to the relavent U.S. consulate.
After this, your family member will be notified about what they need to
to do next. This process is known as "Consular Processing."
How Can the Law Offices of Michael M. Felix Help You?
We understand how important it is to finally reunite with loved ones. Being
nervous and scared about the process is understandable, but our firm can
help you reduce that anxiety by ensuring that your family petition is
submitted properly to immigration. After your family petition is approved,
our attorneys will guide you through the adjustment of status process
in the U.S. or consular processing abroad. You will never feel alone and
confused throughout the process because our attorneys always work closely
with each of our clients.
Call (562) 445-4870 to initiate the process and bring your loved ones to
live and work permanently in the U.S. with you.