Los Angeles Family-Based Immigration Lawyer – FAQs
Reuniting families is one of the most critical aspects of our immigration law firm in Los Angeles. Most immigrants who arrive in the U.S. hope to start a new life or gain access to better opportunities. The positive impact it has varies per applicant, but we can understand why you’d love to reunite with your family. This visa category allows citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPR), or green card holders to bring their immediate family to the U.S.
Approximately 480,000 family-based visas get awarded annually, meaning the time you have to submit your application or petition through the family preference system is limited. In this article, we answer several frequently asked questions to help you through the process.
What is family-based immigration?
Family-based immigration is an opportunity to bring your family to the country. Citizens or LPRs can file an immigration petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) to sponsor beneficiaries. You must meet specific requirements and legal obligations to apply. Reach out to an immigration lawyer in LA for more information about the process!
Which family members can I file a green card petition for?
Citizens can file a petition for minor children and spouses much sooner than LPRs. The USCIS considers family members of citizens as “immediate relatives,” which would exempt them from getting backlogged for this visa. A family immigration attorney in LA can help you file an immigrant petition for:
Parents (for citizens over 21)
Minor children (unmarried and younger than 21)
Unmarried adult daughter or son (over 21 years old)
Married adult daughter or son (over 21 years old)
What are the four preference categories for green card beneficiaries?
Beneficiaries get categorized into four preferences:
First Preference: unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
Second Preference: spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents
Third Preference: married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
Fourth Preference: siblings of U.S. citizens
What documents do U.S. citizens need to petition a spouse?
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
A copy of your birth certificate or passport
If you are a citizen and were not born in the U.S., you’ll need a copy of your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, passport, or two signed G-325A’s
Proof of divorce, annulment, or death certificates if applicable
Two recent photos of you and your spouse
How does the USCIS define “siblings”?
Immigration law defines siblings as birth, step, or adopted brothers or sisters. To establish the nature of your relationship, each person must have the same biological parent; or have been “children” at the same time before the age of 16 in cases of adoption and 18 years old for stepchildren (INA 203).
Can beneficiaries work in the U.S.?
Yes! If you’re living in the U.S. and applied for permanent residency, you can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You typically hear back within 3-4 months before receiving a green card. If you have questions about the job process, our family immigration lawyer is here to help.
What are the requirements of the I-864 Affidavit of Support?
The petitioner must sign and submit Form I-864 to demonstrate they can support the immigrant financially or pay back the government for assistance.
Sponsors need to meet an income requirement at 125% above Federal Poverty Guidelines, or
Show proof through assets and total household income.
What is the affidavit requirement?
If your sponsor cannot support you, a co-sponsor (citizen or LPR over 18) must fulfill the residence, affidavit, and income requirement by submitting the following documents:
Evidence that sponsor’s income can sufficiently meet the income requirement
Why do I need an immigration lawyer for family immigration?
Petitioning for a family member or filing for a family-based visa can be intimidating without direction from a family visa attorney in LA. We can save you time, stress, and money by making the process more straightforward. If you have any questions, you can call our office at 213-388-1821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation!
About The Law Offices of Todd Becraft
At The Law Offices of Todd Becraft, our immigration attorneys recognize how overwhelming the visa, immigration, and naturalization processes can be. Each client deserves an individualized approach that pertains to their unique situation. When you choose us – you can expect a thorough analysis of your case, extensive preparation, combined with our years of experience and expertise. Contact us if you’re inquiring about: