Ames Immigration serves clients who want to bring their family members to the United States. If you are seeking a visa for a wife or husband, fiancé, child, parent or other immediate family member, there are several options available for obtaining a “green card” (permanent residency).
Our practice is limited to Immigration and Naturalization Law.
Contact our offices to schedule an opportunity to discuss your family visa needs with Attorney Sharon Ames.
- Family visas for “immediate relatives”:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Children of U.S. citizens (A child is defined as an unmarried son or daughter under the age of 21. There are special requirements for stepchildren and adopted children.)
- Parents of a U. S. citizen whose son or daughter is over the age of 21
- Fiance(é)s of a U.S. citizen may enter the United States on a K-1 visa, marry within 90 days of entry, and file for permanent residence after the marriage takes place.
- Family Based Preference Categories
Those seeking permanent residence who are not immediate family members, such as spouses and children of permanent residents, are placed into “preference” categories, depending on the relationship. Those who are not immediate relatives must wait years for a visa number to become available, and may still have to wait for years for the initial processing of the alien relative petition. The waiting times depend upon the preference category. First preference immigrants will obtain a visa sooner than second, third or fourth preference immigrants. The list of preference categories is listed below:
- 1st preference: Unmarried sons or daughters(over the age of 21) of U.S. citizens
- 2A: Spouses and children(under 21) of lawful permanent residents(green card holders)
- 2B: Unmarried sons and daughters(over 21) of lawful permanent residents
- 3rd preference: Married sons or daughters of U.S. citizens
- 4th preference: Brothers or sisters of U.S. Citizens (if the U.S. citizen is over 21)
In addition to these basic requirements, there are various laws that determine in which category an applicant will be placed. For example, the Child Status Protection Act may help a family whose child has reached the age of 21 to process the application as an immediate relative. Our firm can identify any special laws that may apply in your case, and will help determine the best strategy to bring your family members to the U.S.
Read more about Family-Based Immigration: