Chicago Family Immigration Attorney

Chicago Family Immigration Attorney

The Immigration and Nationality Act limits the number of visas available for family-based immigration each year to the United States. It is important to start the process as early as you can to avoid any unnecessary delays due to such restrictions. While obtaining green cards for your family members can be a complex process, many people benefit greatly from the help of a Chicago family immigration attorney

Who Can Benefit from Family-Based Immigration?

The person who files the initial family-based immigration petition is not the individual who will directly benefit. Instead, the petitioner is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident who wishes to sponsor a family member to come to the U.S. The family member who is a foreign national will then be the one to receive the immigration benefit, which is a green card. 

The law sets our different categories when it comes to family-based immigration:

  • Immediate relatives – These include the spouses, unmarried children, and parents of U.S. citizens, and there is no restriction under the INA regarding how many visas can be granted to immediate relatives. 
  • Family preference – This category can include other relatives of U.S. citizens or immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents. These visas are limited each year, and there can be a multi-year waiting period for some preference categories, depending on the country of origin. 

If there is a waiting list for a particular family-preference visa, we can give you an idea of how long it might be, as the U.S. State Department publishes the information each month in a Visa Bulletin. 

The Application Process

There is a highly specific process to apply for a green card for a family member to come to the United States. Some steps of the process include the following:

  • The U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is the petitioner completes and files Form-130 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form requests permission for a specific family member to immigrate to the U.S. The petitioner must agree to be the financial sponsor of their family member should it be necessary. 
  • USCIS reviews the petition and either grants or denies it. 
  • If the petition is granted, there must be a visa available, and those in the family preference category might have to wait at this point for their priority date.
  • The family member completes and files an official application for a green card through the proper U.S. consulate or applies for an adjustment of status with USCIS, depending on their specific circumstances, such as whether they are in the U.S. already or not.  

If the green card or adjustment of status is approved, the family member can receive a green card and become a permanent resident.

Speak with a Chicago Family Immigration Attorney

The Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, P.C., handles every step of the family-based immigration process for our clients. We can evaluate your situation and advise you of the immigration options and how to get started. For more information from a member of our legal team, please contact us directly.