Family-Based Immigration Lawyer in New Rochelle, Westchester, New York
If you need advice about the best ways to obtain a visa or green card based on a familial relationship, Dryer, Dryer & Alarcon, PC in New Rochelle, Westchester, New York is here to assist you and answer all your questions. We have a vast experience helping United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain immigration benefits for their family members overcome obstacles.
Contact Us Online or Call 914 636-5657 to schedule a Consultation with a New Rochelle, Westchester, NY Family Immigration Lawyer
Family based immigration: Overview and Process
Persons who have a familial relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) may seek the benefit of becoming an LPR status through a petition filed by a family member or, under certain limited circumstances, through self-petitioning.
In most cases, in order to obtain permanent residency through a family relationship there must be a willing U.S. citizen or LPR (a “Petitioner”) who is seeking the admission of foreign national. There are exceptions to this petition requirement, including where the foreign national has been the victim of extreme cruelty or battery by the family member who otherwise would be the petitioner; or, in some limited cases, where the petitioner has died
Family-based immigration involves a multi-step process, where delays are common, due to the shortage of immigrant visa availability. Therefore, petitioning relatives are encouraged to start the process as soon as possible.
There is a limited number (“quotas”) of Immigrant Visas (“Green Cards”) available within a fiscal year. Whether a person is can apply to become an LPR is controlled by whether he or she can satisfy the quota requirements. The law exempts from the quota “immediate relatives” defined as the “children, spouses and parents” of a U.S. citizen; when a child petitions for his or her parent, he or she must be at least 21 years of age. Other relationships, which are subject to a quota system, are divided into family-based “preferences.” The family preferences include four categories:
- First Preference: unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
- Second Preference: spouses and children of LPRs (2A); and unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs (2B);
- Third Preference: married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
- 8 USC §1153(a)(3) and
- Fourth Preference: brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
The availability of visas under the quota system is determined by the person’s “priority date.” A priority date is that date on which a person initially submitted documentation establishing eligibility for one of the preference categories under the immigrant visa scheme.
In the case of a family-based petition, the priority date would be the date on which the petitioner submitted the application showing that there existed a qualifying familial relationship with the beneficiary. Therefore, it is very to file the petition as soon as possible to “lock” a priority date
To summarize, if you have a parent, spouse, son, daughter or sibling who is an U.S Citizen or a parent or spouse who is a Lawful permanent resident of the United States you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. However, please be advised, that this is complex area of law, where there are a lot of exceptions and eligibility requirement that should be assessed before stating a case to avoid pitfalls that could derail your case. Thus, please contact us and schedule a consultation to discuss you particular case with one of our attorneys. During the consultation, the attorney will analyze your case and discuss all the immigration options that you or your relative may have.