Family-Based Immigration

Which Green Card Is Right for Your Family Member?

We guide citizens and permanent residents through the complex process of obtaining green cards for family members. Our family-based immigration lawyers will help you find the fastest and most cost-efficient solution.

Our family-based immigration lawyers help ensure that you and your loved ones have everything necessary to become legal residents.

Which Green Card Is Right for Your Family Member?

A green card allows your family members to live and work permanently in the U.S.

We understand your desire to reunite with your family in the U.S. A family immigration lawyer helps you seek authorization for spouses, minor children, and parents.

Our family-based immigration lawyers help ensure you and your loved ones have everything necessary to become legal residents.

Which Family Members Are Eligible?

Naturalized citizens or permanent residents may sponsor family members. These family members include:

  • Immediate Relatives: Spouses, children under the age of 21, or parents of U.S. citizens who are 21 or older
  • Adult Children: Married or unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Siblings: Brothers and sisters, married or unmarried, of U.S. citizens
  • Spouses/Unmarried Children: Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents

Citizens or permanent residents seeking to sponsor family members must notify the USCIS within 10 days if they move or change their mailing address. The post office will not forward mail related to immigration applications and documents.

Lawful Solutions for Bringing & Keeping Families Together

A family-based immigration lawyer protects you from avoidable delays due to incomplete forms and other processing mistakes. We know your priority is bringing your family members to America or petitioning them to remain. Let us remove potential barriers or help you understand what to expect as you seek to unify your family.

I-130 Filing Process

As a sponsoring citizen or permanent resident, you must prove that you can file an I-130. You must also provide evidence that you have a valid relationship with the family member who wants to join you in the U.S.

What Documents Are Required?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers all legal immigration processes. The USCIS system involves official forms and documents that must be properly completed before applications are considered. Our family immigration lawyers will make sure you use the correct forms, including:

  • I-130/Petition for Relative: For U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents establishing a relationship with an eligible family member.
  • I-730/Refugee or Asylee Relative Petition: For individuals granted refugee or asylum status in the U.S. and wish to bring their spouses, unmarried children under age 21, or both.
  • I-360/ Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant: For several groups of individuals seeking permanent residency in the U.S., including victims of domestic violence.
  • I-129F/Petition for Fiancé(e): For U.S. citizens who want to bring their intended bride or groom for imminent marriage.
  • I-485/Adjustment of Status: Individuals living in the U.S. on a temporary visa and want to apply for permanent residency.
  • K-3/Spouse Nonimmigrant Visa: For nonimmigrant spouses of U.S. citizens who may petition for permanent residency later.
  • V-Visa/Nonimmigrant Visa: Visa for family members to remain in the U.S. while waiting for their immigrant visa or green card to be processed.

Affidavit of Support and Minimum Income

A U.S. citizen or permanent resident must file form I-864 or Affidavit of Support. You agree to use your income and financial resources to sponsor your family member.

This affidavit is a legally enforceable contract. It lasts until the other family member becomes a U.S. citizen or completes 40 quarters of employment (about 10 years).

Sponsors also have minimum income requirements. You must show that your household income is equal to or five times higher than the U.S. poverty level for your household size. The required minimum income for sponsors who are active members of the U.S. Armed Forces is four times higher than the poverty level for your household size.

Medical Exam Requirements

All petitioned family members, including fiancés, must have a physical and mental medical examination before coming to the United States. Individuals seeking permanent resident status must also undergo a physical and psychological evaluation.

Family Immigration FAQ

We understand how confusing and overwhelming the family immigration process can be. For this reason, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) to answer some of your most pressing questions. Contact our office to discuss your concerns in greater detail.

Who Can Be a Sponsor?

Only permanent residents and naturalized citizens can sponsor family members. These family members include:

  • Spouses
  • Children under the age of 21
  • Parents of U.S. citizens who are 21 or older
  • Married or unmarried children of U.S. citizens
  • Brothers
  • Sisters
  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children of permanent residents

How Much Does Family Immigration Cost?

Most individuals immigrating to the U.S. for a green card must pay a $220 processing fee. You do not have to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee before entering the U.S., but doing so may speed up processing.

You will not receive your green card until the fee is paid. People who can pay for you include friends, family members, employers, or an approved representative.

The following people do not have to pay the fee USCIS Immigrant Fee:

  • Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants
  • Children entering under the orphan or Hague adoption programs
  • K nonimmigrants
  • Returning lawful permanent residents

What Is the Green Card Processing Time?

Processing times vary depending on where you live and which family-based immigration petition or visa you used. It can take from 90 days to a few years. The USCIS website lets you check processing times based on the form and office location.

The main factors influencing family-based immigration visa processing times:

  • Your relation to the family member sponsoring you
  • If USCIS needs more information
  • Your home country’s rules and regulations
  • If USCIS is backlogged
  • What country you are applying for a green card from