Family Immigration Lawyers Helping Sponsors Apply For Green Cards
At Black Rock Legal Group, PLLC, we are proud of being able to help reunite families through the immigration process. As our client, we will discuss the details of your situation and explore all of your options. The application process is complex and unforgiving of errors. We can simplify the process for you and make sure all documents are completed and filed properly. Whether you are seeking a fiancé(e) visas, trying to get a green card for a child or need any other family immigration service, we can help.
We can also help if a family member is facing removal proceedings or if criminal charges are affecting their citizenship status. Our practice also includes family law services if you are concerned about how divorce might affect your citizenship status.
Sponsoring A Relative Through An I-130 Petition For Alien Relative Form
To qualify to sponsor a relative, one of the first steps is to prove you have the financial resources to support the living expenses of the relative you wish to bring to the U.S. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has rigorous requirements for this. Once your financial stability has been confirmed, you will need to sign an affidavit of support. At this point, your loved one can apply for a visa.
Typically, only immediate family members and their minor children qualify for family-based immigration. This includes:
- Unmarried children under the age of 21
- Orphans adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen
- Parents of a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old
- Orphans that will be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
There is no annual limit for Green Cards for immediate family members. I-130 petitions are usually approved in six to 12 months, but it does sometimes take longer. Petitions for relatives who are not immediate family members are granted based on preference categories established by the USCIS as outlined below.
Understanding USCIS Preference Categories
One of the factors that affects the amount of time it takes to process a Green Card is the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant. Immediate relatives are at the top of the preference categories. This includes spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and petitions filed by U.S. citizens over the age of 21 who are sponsoring their parents. U.S. citizens sponsoring unmarried adult children are next followed by petitions filed by naturalized citizens in the categories already mentioned. The bottom of the preference list is petitions filed by U.S. citizens for married children of any age and sponsors over the age of 21 applying for their brothers and sisters.
When a petition for a green card for an immediate family member is approved, a visa or green card is typically granted immediately afterward. However, waiting times are also affected by the country where sponsored relative is currently living. The USCIS sets priority dates on granting petitions for all other applicants based on their preference category. Petitions for relatives who are not immediate family members may take more than 10 years depending on their preference category and the country where the sponsored relative lives.
For Guidance Through The Green Card Petition Process, Contact Us Today
We offer services in English, French and Creole.