Family Based Immigrant Services

The Margolis Law Firm can assist you if you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States or a relative who is already a lawful permanent resident. Below we have listed some frequently asked questions on this topic as well as the preference categories for family based permanent residency.

Q: How do I know if I am eligible to sponsor a relative for an immigrant visa (the so-called “green card”)?
In order to be eligible to sponsor a relative for an immigrant visa you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States and be able to provide documentation proving your status.
  • You must prove that you can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
  • If you are a US Citizen you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States:
    • Husband or wife;
    • Unmarried child under 21 years old;
    • Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
    • Married son or daughter of any age;
    • Brother or sister, if you are at least 21 years old; or
    • Parent, if you are at least 21 years old.

If you are a lawful permanent resident you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States:

    • Husband or wife; or
    • Unmarried son or daughter of any age.

Q: How long will it take to obtain permanent residency after applying?
There is no set time for obtaining permanent residency based on family. It can take as little as a few weeks or many years depending on the case.

Q: What is a fiance visa?
If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to bring your foreign national fiance (male or female) to marry in the U.S., you may apply for a fiance visa. Both of you must be free to marry. You must also have met with your fiance in person within the last two years before filing for the fiance visa. You and your fiance must marry within 90 days of your fiance entering the United States.

Preference Categories

Immediate Relative: Spouse, widow(er) and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an American citizen. A parent is an immediate relative if the American citizen is 21 years of age or older. There are no numerical limits to immigration of immediate relatives.

Since there is immediate visa availability, immediate relatives do not appear on the Visa Bulletin.

First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.

Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.

Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.

Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

Visa Bulletin

The Department of State Visa Bulletin (a monthly publication) sets forth the availability immigrant visas in each category.

To view the current Visa Bulletin please click on the link below:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html