Family Immigration

Which Green Card Is Right for Your Family Member?

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

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

Green Cards or Permanent Resident Cards

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

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

Forms to Apply for a Green Card

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 consideration.

Our family immigration attorneys help ensure that 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 later petition for permanent residency.
  • 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.

Lawful Solutions for Bringing & Keeping Families Together

We know that your priority is bringing your family members to America or petitioning for them to remain. Let us remove potential barriers or help you understand what to expect as you seek to unify your family.

A family-based immigration lawyer in St. Louis helps protect you from avoidable delays due to incomplete forms and other processing mistakes.

Documents to File an I-130

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.

An immigration attorney with knowledge of green card processing helps ensure the correct filing of form I-130.

Affidavit of Support

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 ten years). The American Immigration Law Group provides guidance and advice.

Minimum Income Requirements

Sponsors 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.

A family immigration attorney can ease the stress of preparing necessary documents for green card applicants.

Mandatory Medical Examinations

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

Our St. Louis immigration law firm connects you with local medical providers for necessary testing.

Change of Address

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

Our legal team stays on top of immigration laws and guidelines to help you avoid potential errors.

USCIS Immigrant Fee

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 you physically enter the U.S., but doing so may speed up processing.

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

Exemptions for USCIS Immigrant Fee

The following people who do not have to pay the fee include:

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

A family-based immigration lawyer in St. Louis can help you understand your responsibilities when seeking permanent residency.

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 many years. The USCIS website lets you check processing times based on the form and office location.

Working with a St. Louis family immigration lawyer can help you avoid delays due to errors or other preventable issues.