If you're currently a resident outside of the United States, you may be curious about your options for obtaining U.S. citizenship. While there are many choices to consider, the most common form of obtaining lawful and permanent U.S. residency—more commonly known as a “green card”—is a category known as family-based immigration. If you have a qualifying relative for whom you'd like to obtain a family-based visa, the experienced Seattle family immigration lawyers at Orbit Law are standing by to help.
There are few things more rewarding than helping unite or create a new family. Our family-based immigration strategies have successfully unified families from around the world, and we take great pride in assisting with family-based petitions for United States citizens who are marrying foreign nationals, have foreign relatives, or for permanent residents filing for various family members. We focus on providing the best solution for your immigration.
What is Family-Based Immigration and Who Qualifies?
One of the primary methods of obtaining lawful permanent residency is through a qualifying relative who's either a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident. If your relative is a U.S. citizen, they may file an immigrant petition for you if you're their parent, spouse, sibling, adult child, minor child, or a fiancé who's residing overseas. If your relative is a lawful permanent resident—or a green card holder—they may petition for you if you're their spouse, adult unmarried child, or minor child.
To qualify, you must meet the categories listed above, as well as the following:
- Proof of status: Your relative must be able to show documentation of their status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, as well as proof of their relationship with you.
- Financial income: Your relative must prove that their income is 125% above the poverty line for their entire family. If your family doesn't meet this threshold, they can become a joint sponsor with another relative.
There are several different kinds of family-based visas, including spouse visas, K-1 Fiancé visas, K-3 visas, same-sex marriage green cards, humanitarian visas, and more. Note that your relative may also qualify if they're a refugee or asylee admitted within the past two years.
Understanding the Kinds of Family-Based Visas We Can Help with at Orbit Law
For many people, the easiest way to get a U.S. immigration visa or green card is through family sponsorship. Some kinds of family sponsorship include:
K-1 Fiancé Visa
A K-1 visa—colloquially known as a fiancé(e) visa—allows an engaged partner of a United States citizen to enter the country as long as the couple gets married no more than 90 days later.
This visa is intended for the children of a noncitizen receiving the K-1 visa. The K-2 visa depends on the K-1 holder (parent) complying with all requirements.
K-3 Green Card for Marriage, or “Spouse Visa”
The spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can apply for a green card based on marriage. With a green card, a person can live or work anywhere in the United States, and after a certain amount of time has passed, they may be able to apply for U.S. citizenship.
This visa is meant for the children of a noncitizen receiving the K-3 visa (stepchildren). The K-4 visa, as well, depends on whether the K-3 holder (parent) complies with all requirements.
Family-Based Green Cards:
A U.S. citizen or green card holder may make an I-130 application for an immigrant visa for a spouse or close relatives like parents, children, or siblings. For more information, read our guide on family-based green cards.
How to File for Family-Based Green Card
If you're looking to move forward with a family-based green card, the first step is for your sponsoring relative to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, a form that defines the relationship between you and your relative. For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens—defined as a spouse, minor child, adopted orphan, or parent—visas are unlimited and always available. Visas for other categories are available but often limited, which may require an extended wait.
Contact a Seattle Family Immigration Lawyer Today
The most common way for individuals to get an immigration visa or green card in the United States is through family sponsorship. Fortunately, a family-based immigration attorney can help in this process by filing and establishing your visa. If you have a qualifying relative for whom you would like to obtain a family-based visa, Orbit Law should be your one-stop shop. We specialize in personally guiding families seeking sponsorship, and we're dedicated to remaining by your side throughout the immigration process.
At Orbit Law, our knowledgeable team of compassionate attorneys has a wide range of knowledge in U.S. immigration laws, and we're excited to help you and your family navigate this process. We've worked with a number of clients in your shoes who are looking to obtain permanent U.S. residence, and we can't wait to help you reunite with your family. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at (206) 312-8086 or complete our online contact form today.