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Everything You Need to Know About Family Based Immigration

Being separated from your family is not an easy thing, especially when complex immigration laws are standing in the way of your family reunification. There is a maximum of 480,000 family preference visas given each fiscal year in addition to a 7% per country limit. Due to these stringent rules set by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the immigration process often requires immense patience, perseverance, and commitment.

Though the process can be discouraging at times, it is important to keep the big picture in mind. Receiving an immigration visa is not impossible, and our team at SAC Attorneys LLP is here to help. When seeking an immigrant visa through family members, it is important to be well informed on the process so that you know what to expect.

What Exactly is Family Based Immigration?

Family based immigration allows United States citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPR) to bring their family members into the country. The most common form of legal immigration, family based immigration makes up two thirds of immigration into the United States. The process works by allowing citizens and LPRs to sponsor certain family members for a green card. To be eligible for a visa, you must be an immediate family member or within the family preference category of a sponsor. The entire process includes a minimum of two family members, a petitioner, and a beneficiary.

What is the Application Process Like?

Usually, the process starts when a petitioner files an immigration request with the U.S. government. The form they must file is called a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Once this form is approved and a visa number becomes available for the relative, then the family member is eligible to apply for a green card. Afterward, residence is given through either consular processing or adjustment of status.

How Long Does the Entire Process Take?

Immigration is not a quick or easy process, and it can take decades to receive a visa. Especially for immigration involving family preference, the wait time can be significant because of high demand and limited visas available. Immediate family members, on the other hand, can receive their visas in a shorter amount of time once they finish the extensive visa application process.

Important Things to Bear in Mind

While seeking family based immigration, there are a few key factors that are important to keep in mind:

  • The sponsor must be at least 18 years old, residing in the United States, financially stable, and a U.S. citizen or LPR. If a single sponsor is unable to meet these criteria, a joint sponsor may sometimes be used.
  • There is no limit on visas given to spouses, children, and parents of a sponsor. However, other family members who are under the family-preference category face limitations on visas that are given each year.
  • All applicants of immigrant visas are required to go through a compulsory medical examination.
  • In Need of an Immigration Lawyer?

Our team at SAC Attorneys LLP understands that the immigration process is a long and daunting hurdle to overcome. Dealing with all the legal responsibility alone can take an emotional toll on a person. If you are in need of assistance on immigration-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact us at (408) 441-7500 or through our website today.

Client Reviews
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Mr. Cai Is a Diligent Attorney. My sister and I were defendants in a civil litigation case. We hired James Cai and his law firm, SAC Attorneys LLP. Mr. Cai is a diligent attorney and responded to our questions in a timely fashion. He and his staff were very helpful in keeping us informed of the proceedings of the case and in explaining each step. Mr. Cai is also very conscientious of fees and costs, and avoided unnecessary charges. The results of the Summary Adjudication sided with us. The Court Trial resulted in the “Final Statement of Decision” and “Judgment after Court Trial” overwhelmingly siding with us. Cynthia F.
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