Overview

If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and wish to file an immigration petition for a family member, you can reach an experienced immigration attorney with our law firm for the necessary guidance to achieve your desired results.  The best course of action and the length of time the immigration process will take depends on the type of relationship between you and your relative and the status in the U.S. of your relative.

The family immigration law firm of Adan G. Vega & Associates, PLLC provides experienced and effective legal guidance with family petitions. Located in Houston, Texas our family immigration petition attorneys represent clients throughout the region and the world. For a private consultation you can contact one of our experienced immigration attorneys by
calling (713) 527-9606 or emailing  us to learn more.

 

HOUSTON FAMILY IMMIGRATION LAWYERS

Family immigration petitions enable a loved one to immigrate. Typical family petitions involve a mother, father, spouse, brother, sister or child of a parent over 21 years old filing a petition. The petition will likely be approved if the petitioner can establish that the relationship you are claiming is valid.

Other issues also come into play, such as whether the spouses were legally free to marry, whether the petitioning parent supported the child during his or her formative years, and if a petitioner has died, can another family member step in. We can also assist with filings of widowers, battered spouses and children, and special immigrant juveniles/orphans who are wards of the state.

 

TYPES OF FAMILY IMMIGRATION

Our family immigration lawyers in Houston guide clients through these and other types of family petitions:

  • Spouse-spouse
  • Parent-child
  • Child-parent
  • Sibling-sibling
  • Widower
  • VAWA petitions for abused spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents

Our Houston family immigration attorneys encourage you to schedule a free consultation at our Houston law office to discuss your case in bringing a family member to the United States. Attorney Adan G. Vega and our team of immigration attorneys have handled thousands of family-based immigration cases.

 

CONTACT A FAMILY IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY TODAY!

Our Houston family immigration attorneys are dedicated to reuniting families in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Our lawyers’ knowledge and experience in immigration and family petitions allow us to streamline the process wherever possible to take advantage of a complex range of immigration laws and policies. To learn more, we encourage you to contact our Houston office to speak with one of our family immigration petition attorneys about a family visa petition. Call Adan G. Vega & Associates , PLLC at (713) 527-9606 or contact us online.

 

How do I qualify for the visa based on a family petition?

A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted by the U.S. government the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States, or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process.

  • The USCIS must first approve an immigrant visa petition (FORM I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) for you, the beneficiary. This petition is filed by your petitioning relative (U.S. citizen or U.S. resident) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the relative petitioner.
  • The Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, the foreign national, even if you are already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to you. You can check the status of a visa number in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
  • If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available to you. The Visa Bulletin as published by USCIS must also be checked to determine if you can apply to secure an immigrant visa number. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you must contact USCIS, the National Visa Center, and the U.S. Consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing. This is the other way to secure an immigrant visa number.

 

Eligibility

In order for a relative to sponsor you to immigrate to the United States, they must meet the following criteria:

  • The petitioning relative must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and be able to provide documentation confirming that status.
  • The citizen or lawful permanent resident relative must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line, by submitting an Affidavit of Support, FORM I-864.

The relatives which may be sponsored as an immigrant vary depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

 

If the petitioning relative is a U.S. citizen, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S:

  • Husband or wife
  • Unmarried child under 21 years of age
  • Unmarried son or daughter over 21
  • Married son or daughter of any age
  • Brother or sister, if the petitioning relative is at least 21 years old, or
  • Parent, if the petitioning relative is at least 21 years old.

 

If the petitioning relative is a lawful permanent resident, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S.:

  • Husband or wife, or
  • Unmarried son or daughter of any age.

In any case, the petitioning relative must be able to provide proof of the relationship.

 

Preference Categories

If you wish to immigrate as a relative of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must obtain an immigrant visa number based on the applicable preference category.

People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by USCIS. An immigrant visa number will become immediately available.

 

The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:

  • First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
  • Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

Once USCIS receives your visa petition (FORM I-130, Petition for Alien Relative), it will be approved or denied. USCIS notifies the person who filed the petition of the decision. If an approval is issued USCIS will then send the approved visa petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. The National Visa Center will notify the foreign national when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is available. You will need to maintain contact with the National Visa Center to avoid complications with the case including termination. You also should contact the NVC if you change your address or if there is a change in your personal situation, or that of your petitioning relative , that may affect eligibility for an immigrant visa, such as reaching age 21, marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with additional editing by Adan G. Vega

 

CONTACT A BOARD-CERTIFIED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY AT ADAN G. VEGA & ASSOCIATES, PLLC

We represent clients worldwide and offer consultations with an experienced Board-Certified immigration lawyer, either by telephone or at our Houston office. To schedule an appointment to talk privately with one of our experienced attorneys, call (713) 527-9606 or contact us online.