McAllen Family Based Immigration Lawyer
Serving Clients in Starr County, Hidalgo County, and Cameron County
Navigating the United States immigration system can be a challenging process. When you hire the Law Office of Ayala & Acosta, you can rest assured that you will receive the compassionate and competent legal representation you deserve.
We have helped countless residents and their family members with their immigration needs. We have an excellent record of success and we have helped many clients reunite with their loved ones. We can help you too!
Family Based Immigration Options
Family-based immigration refers to the different types of immigration visas that are available to family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. The United States immigration system gives preference to family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. This means that non-citizens who are related to United States citizens or lawful permanent residents are more likely to be approved for immigration than those who do not have family members in the United States.
In some cases, a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident can sponsor their family members for permanent residency without them having to wait in line for a visa. In other cases, the family member will have to wait in line for a visa and may even have to return to their home country to complete the process. The type of immigration visa that is available to a family member is dependent on the type of relationship that they have with the United States citizen or lawful permanent resident sponsor.
Family-based immigration can include:
- Immediate Relative Petitions. This visa category is given special immigration priority. It is reserved for the spouse, unmarried children under 21 years of age, and parents of U.S. citizens. The main advantage of this category is that there is an unlimited number of immigrant visas available, meaning that the family members do not have to wait in line for a visa to become available. Also, certain bars to adjustment of status do not apply to relatives in this category.
- Family Preference Petitions. This visa category is available to family members of lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens that do not fall in the Immediate Relative Category. Unlike Immediate Relative Petitions, Family Preference Petitions are subject to a numerical limit each year. And because demand for visas exceeds the number of visas available, applicants are assigned a “priority date” and must wait until a visa becomes available. Depending on the family relationship and applicant’s country of birth, this wait can sometimes be several decades.
- Adjustment of Status. Adjustment of Status is the process by which a person in the United States becomes a permanent resident without leaving the U.S. Eligibility for family-based adjustment of status generally requires that the applicant have entered the county legally, although certain exceptions apply.
- Fiancé(e) Visas. A U.S. citizen can file a petition for his or her fiancé(e) to come to the United States in order to apply for permanent residence (adjustment of status). Generally, the parties must establish that they have met in person within the last two years (although some exceptions can be made), and have an intention to marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s entry into the United States. If approved, the fiancé(e) and any minor children can apply for K-1 Visas through the U.S. consulate.
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