The United States is a nation of immigrants and a multicultural mix of people from all nations. In actuality, 98 to 99 percent of Americans are descended from immigrants. Immigration remains a contentious topic despite the country’s long history of valuable and successful immigration. Given that one’s immigration status can affect their ability to live in their country of choice, it is imperative to have an experienced immigration lawyer on your side. If you need family immigration legal services, the Georgia family immigration attorney at The Law Offices of C. Payne can help.
How can a Family Immigration Attorney Help?
One of the most terrifying problems an immigrant may encounter is deportation, or removal from the United States. Families can be torn apart, and lives can be destroyed by deportation, particularly if the deportee fears for their safety or would experience poverty if they were to return to their native country. A family immigration attorney can assist you in removal proceedings.
Even if you are able to bring a family member to the U.S., the procedure is far from straightforward. In order to pursue family-sponsored immigration, it is crucial to present supporting documentation, submit applications on time, and much more. The procedure of sponsoring a family member, including a spouse, can be made simpler by working with a skilled family immigration attorney. Family immigration law is the key to staying with and being reunited with your loved ones.
Qualifying for Family-Based Immigration
Family-based petitions or family-sponsored visas enable people to sponsor members of their family to immigrate to the U.S. and eventually become permanent residents. A family member’s admission to the United States under immigration law is predicated on their relationship to a citizen or lawful permanent resident.
Family members of American citizens are eligible for an unlimited number of immigration visas each year. All other eligible ties fall under the family preference categories.
There aren’t many family preference immigrant visas available. This is because the total number of green cards that can be awarded annually to family preference categories is capped by immigration law. As a result, there is a backlog and a long wait for those seeking to adjust their status under a number of the family preference categories.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) places a limit on the number of family-based immigration visas that can be issued to foreign nationals each year. These immigrant visas are given out by the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines a large amount of the immigrant visa eligibility.
The law stipulates that there must be a minimum of two family members involved – referred to as the petitioner and beneficiary – in order for a foreign national to be eligible for family-based immigration. Immediate family and family preference are the two categories under which all immigrants with a family connection fall. The petitioner must be an American citizen or lawful permanent resident in order to file a green card application on behalf of a foreign relative.
Family-Based Immigration Process
For immediate family members who want to immigrate, a U.S. citizen must submit a petition for them to qualify for a visa. This person must first confirm that they meet the requirements for sponsoring prospective immigrant family members, including:
- Showing U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence
- Displaying a qualifying relationship with the individual that is seeking a visa
- Providing evidence of financial support (this must be 125 percent or more above the poverty line)
- Filing form I-130 in addition to other paperwork
Once a petitioner has met the eligibility above, they can begin the process of sponsoring a family member (beneficiary).
The following family members can be sponsored for immediate relative immigration: spouse, unmarried children under 21, a parent (as long as the sponsor is over 21), and adopted children. If the relationship does not fall within one of these categories, the sponsor will have to file under a preference category.
There are various preference categories available to those seeking family-based immigration. The first preference category is for those who are petitioning on behalf of an unmarried child over the age of 21. The next preference category involves a sponsor who is an LPR seeking a family-based visa for a spouse and children who are younger than 21. The third preference category is for a married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen. The last preference category is for a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen or is 21 or older.
Green cards are given in order of preference, and therefore it is critical to speak with a family immigration attorney to ensure that petitions are being filed correctly.
Visa Forms for Family-Based Immigration
For immigrants who want to come to the United States and establish permanent residency with their families, there are various sorts of visas available. Immigration processes are often confusing due to the different documents required during the application procedure. The kind of familial relationship will determine the available immigration options. Petitioners for a green card, also known as a permanent residence, may include spouses, kids, parents, and siblings. To file a petition, the following forms must be completed:
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence
In addition to the forms, various proofs of identification will also be necessary, including but not limited to passports, government-issued IDs, birth certificates, and other applicable identifying paperwork. Also, it may be necessary to have an arrival record and medication/vaccine records.
The Family Immigration Attorney at The Law Offices of C. Payne
No matter what kind of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled Georgia family immigration law firm of The Law Offices of C. Payne is here to offer you legal counsel and support. To schedule a no-obligation consultation and start working on your case, contact our office by phone or fill out our secure online form.