Family Sponsorship Lawyer: Visa Requirements, FAWs, and Hiring an Immigration Lawyer

Family Sponsorship Lawyer: Visa Requirements, FAWs, and Hiring an Immigration Lawyer

Family Sponsorship

Every day, family members and loved ones wish to be reunited in the United States. Through family sponsorship, you, as a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), can bring your family member to the United States. With help from a family immigration lawyer, you may be eligible to obtain a green card for your loved one.

Family sponsored visas or family-based petitions allow individuals in the United States to sponsor their family members to eventually become permanent residents. Immigration law for a family member’s visa is based on the premise that the family member is coming to the U.S. due to their relation to a citizen or legal permanent resident.

Though you may be eligible to bring your family member to the United States, the process is far from simple. Providing evidence, filing forms, and diligent timeliness are all important factors that are involved in the pursuit of family-sponsored immigration. Working with an experienced family immigration lawyer can help ease the process of sponsoring your family members and/or spouse. Family immigration law is the principal component of reuniting and staying with your family. The Chicago Family immigrant lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. can guide you through the family immigration process to obtain green cards for your family.

Petitioning for Relatives

You, the U.S. citizen, will have to file a petition for your family member hoping to enter the United States. A family petition lawyer can walk you through the process of petitioning for your loved one. In order to be eligible to sponsor your family member, you first need to make sure you meet the requirements to sponsor your potential immigrant family member:

  1. You can prove by evidence that you are a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  2. You have a qualifying relationship with the individual you are petitioning for
  3. You must demonstrate that you can support the potential family immigration applicant at 125% or more above the poverty line
  4. You must be able to file Form I-130 in addition to the other necessary family immigration forms

If you have questions about your eligibility, the family-based immigration lawyers of Chicago can discuss your qualifications.

Once you have determined you are able to petition for family immigration, you can proceed to petition for your relative. Green cards for family preference immigration can fall into either immediate relative classifications or other family “preference immigration” classifications.

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor the following family members within the immediate relative classifications:

  • Your husband or wife
  • Your unmarried children under the age of 21
  • Your mother or father if you are 21 years or older
  • Adopted child if you adopted your child abroad
  • Adopted child to be adopted in the United States

If your relationship with your family member is considered a limited family based green card, then you will apply within the following preference categories:

  • First Preference (F1): you are a U.S. citizen petitioning for unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 years or older
  • Second Preference (F2A): you are an LPR sponsoring your spouse and children (who are unmarried and younger than 21 years old)
  • Second Preference (F2B): you are an LPR sponsoring you unmarried sons and daughters 21 years and older
  • Third Preference (F3): Your married son and daughter if you are a U.S. citizen
  • Fourth Preference (F4): your brothers and sisters if you are a U.S. citizen age 21 or above

Green cards through family sponsorship do depend on preference level. Speak with your family sponsorship lawyer about which preference level your family members fall into. If your family member falls into a lower preference, work with you family immigration lawyer to discuss when to apply. If there are too many qualified candidates for a specific preference category, then the immigrant visas are given depending on when they were filed. Applying for a family immigration visa early on can help in your success of attaining a green card for your loved one.  

Visa Forms

There are different types of visas for family members wishing to enter the U.S. to gain permanent residency with their families. The various files through the application process can make immigration and family law a bit confusing. The type of immigration benefit you may qualify for depends on the type of relative you are. Spouses, children, parents, and siblings may petition for a permanent residence, more commonly known as a Green Card. Forms that must be filled out to petition include:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support

Additional submissions are required that are specific for family relationships, including:

  • Passport-style photographs
  • Government-issued ID
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • If applicable, passport information with your nonimmigrant visa

You may also need a copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. A medical examination and vaccination record (Form I-693) may also be required. Your family and immigration lawyer can help determine when to submit your medical form as you may file it with your Form I-485 or later on in your application process.

Depending on your current nonimmigrant status, if any, you will have to submit various other documentation. As you can see, working with a family law and immigration attorney can be beneficial. The process of filing all the right forms can get confusing, and missing a form during your application process can hinder the chances of a family immigration green card. An experienced family immigration lawyer will be able to organize all paperwork and ensure all evidence and documentation is filed in a timely manner.

Petition for Fiancé(e)s

Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States and children of fiancé(e)s residing outside of the U.S. are eligible for a fiancé(e) visa. The U.S. citizen must file a petition for their fiancé(e) by completing Form I-129F. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also petition for a K-3 and K-4 visa by completing Form I-129F or I-130.

How Long is The Process?

You should expect to wait approximately 6-9 months to receive your family-sponsored visa for entrance to the United States. A family-based immigration lawyer will be able to determine the best time to apply.

Applying for a Green Card

After successfully petitioning for family immigration, relatives may apply for a green card to become a lawful permanent resident by filing Form I-130. This form certifies the relationship between you and your relative. For more information on Green Cards and permanent residency, visit the USCIS website.

Military Members and Family

For military members and their families, special provisions may be available. Children of military service members may be eligible for expedited or overseas naturalization. Spouses of U.S. citizen service members who are stationed abroad may also be eligible for expedited naturalization. To apply for naturalization as a spouse or child of a U.S. service member you typically must:

  • Be aged 18 or older
  • Prove your spouse or parent is a U.S. citizen who is stationed abroad for one year or more
  • Be present in the United States as a lawful permanent resident
  • Be present in the U.S. at the time of your naturalization
  • Declare good faith and moral character
  • Able to read, write, and speak English
  • Basic U.S. civic knowledge of history and government

A family immigration attorney can help guide you through questions about Military Family sponsorship

Immigration Divorce Lawyer

In the event that you have a green card through family immigration, yet your marriage ended with a divorce, you may be able to maintain permanent residency. The immigration and divorce lawyers of Chicago are here to answer any questions regarding your marriage and divorce status as a green card holder.

Additionally, an immigration and divorce lawyer can provide assistance with questions regarding the need for a divorce because of violence. You may be able to qualify as a Violence Against Women Act for VAWA Immigration. If you are in a violent situation, reach out to an immigration and family law attorney to explore your options. Citizenship is possible apart from an abusive partner.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

The Chicago immigration legal team at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. is here to answer any questions you have about Immigrant Visas and gaining US citizenship for family members. Contact us today for your family immigration lawyer needs.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!