Immigration Attorney in Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Pensacola Help Families Reunite
Family immigration visas aid separated relatives
Many immigrants obtain lawful permanent resident ("green card" or LPR) status when a close relative who is also a U.S. citizen or LPR sponsors them. Southern Star Immigration helps unite engaged individuals and reunite families through the immigration process. If you have a loved one living here or abroad whom you'd like to sponsor for LPR status, Southern Star Immigration provides focused, affordable and effective representation to make that dream a reality.
Who can sponsor which relatives for lawful permanent resident status?
U.S. citizens have greater sponsorship rights than do LPRs. A citizen may sponsor the following family members:
A lawful permanent resident may sponsor the following:
- Unmarried child under 21
- Unmarried child over 21
Citizens and LPRs hoping to marry a foreign national cannot use a family visa; there are special fiancé visas for that purpose.
What is the process for sponsoring a relative for LPR ("green card") status?
The first step is for the sponsoring citizen or LPR to file a Form I-130 petition for the alien relative with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There is no wait for visas for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents, and children under age 21). Other relatives must wait until a visa number becomes available. Depending on the category, the wait may take years.
If an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen is in the country after a lawful entry, the relative may file a Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Residency at the same time the sponsor files the Form I-130. The relative can also apply for an Employment Authorization Document (“work permit”) to earn an income before the green card arrives.
Assistance with consular processing of applications for relatives abroad
When relatives to be sponsored are still in their nation of origin, they must apply for a green card through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in that country. With "consular processing," the sponsoring citizen or LPR files a Form I-130 petition with USCIS, which sends the approval to the National Visa Center (NVC). The sponsor then files further required information with the NVC. Eventually, the necessary paperwork arrives at the Embassy or Consulate for the relative to appear for an interview with a member of the consular staff. Our immigration lawyers regularly assist sponsoring citizens and LPRs to help eliminate problems that may arise during consular processing.
Occasionally, deserving applicants are found to be inadmissible to the United States. If that happens to the relative you sponsor, the initial decision at the Embassy is not necessarily final. Our attorney and his team can explain how waivers of inadmissibility work and whether your relative may qualify.
Let our concerned immigration attorney and his team help reunite your family
To provide your loved one with the best chance of obtaining LPR status, you need experienced representation throughout the application process. Contact Southern Star Immigration by calling 855.692.4649 or contacting our office online.