Obtaining a green card for you and your family can be a challenging process with many complicated steps. If you are currently in the process of applying for citizenship, you are not alone. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 26 percent of the population in our country, and each year an estimated 1 million immigrants receive their permanent citizenship and obtain their green card.
The team at Orbit Law has established successful legal strategies that have reunited hundreds of families from all over the world. We are dedicated to working closely with our clients to explain the legal process of immigration and allow them to reach their goals. Our experience with family-based petitions for citizenship can help you obtain the best possible solution for yourself and your loved ones.
Family Sponsorship and Visas
Being sponsored by a relative, also known as a family-based petition, allows an individual to live in the United States and obtain a green card due to their relationship with a U.S. citizen. An individual hoping to immigrate can be sponsored, submit a Form I-485 if they already live in the country, and wait for a visa number to become available.
There is no set time frame when it comes to obtaining a visa number. Depending on the number of people from your country applying for citizenship, it could take months or even longer. However, there are certain relationships that allow you to bypass the process of waiting to receive a visa number.
Immediate Relatives and Family-Based Preferences
U.S. immigration laws allow for certain foreign nationals to join their U.S. citizen relatives without waiting for an immigrant visa number if they are considered immediate relatives. The roles for immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and unmarried children under the age of 21.
In addition to immediate relatives, there are four main categories of family-based preferences. This categorization is based on the relationship between the individual seeking a visa and their relative who is a U.S. citizen.
First Preference (F1)
- Children of U.S. citizens who are unmarried and over the age of 21.
Second Preference (F2)
- Spouses and unmarried children of U.S. citizens.
Third Preference (F3)
- Married children of U.S. citizens, as well as their spouses and children under age 21.
Fourth Preference (F4)
- Siblings of U.S. citizens, their spouses, and their children under age 21.
If you are unsure about how to classify a specific family member, or if you want to guarantee that you correctly fill out and submit your application for citizenship, contact a qualified Seattle immigration lawyer that understands the complex process of applying for a visa or a green card in the United States.
Visas for Domestic Abuse Victims
Certain laws exist to protect individuals who wish to immigrate to the United States if they are victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence of any kind by their U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child. This classification includes assault that is physical, verbal, psychological, or sexual in nature. The law which governs this protection is called the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, but the protections extend to any abused individual.
These laws allow for any person who has experienced abuse at the hands of their immediate relative, who is a U.S. citizen, to file for an immigration visa without a consent form from the person who abused them. By self-petitioning, the victim can obtain their green card safely without needing to contact their abuser.
Contact an Experienced Green Card Lawyer in Seattle
The process of obtaining a visa or a green card can take months or even years to complete, and it can come with many complications along the way. If you are looking for a team that can help you reach the best possible conclusion for your case, the legal professionals at Orbit Law are skilled in reuniting families through immigration and helping those who need it.
We are dedicated to teaching our clients about immigration laws, which is why we offer a free monthly webinar that introduces a simplified approach to understanding the complex process of immigration.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to call our office at (206) 623-3352 or reach out to us online at your convenience.