Family-Based Immigration

Family-Based Immigration

Helping Immigrants Residing in the Greater Chicago Area with Family-Based Immigration Matters

Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, only a certain number of family-based immigration visas are allowed to be distributed over the course of a given year. When it comes to determining a person’s eligibility to obtain a family-based green card, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – otherwise known as USCIS – is directly involved.

The family-based immigration process can be lengthy and complicated. Consequently, the Chicago family-based immigration lawyers at the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, P.C. are ready to assist you with pursuing lawful permanent residence for a family member. Please speak with us today to find out more about how we could assist with your family-based immigration case.

Beneficiaries of Family-Based Immigration

To serve as a petitioner in a family-based immigration proceeding, a person must either be a lawful permanent resident of the United States or a U.S. citizen.

The beneficiary in a family-based immigration proceeding is the family member who is looking to receive a green card.  In some cases, the spouse or child of a beneficiary could also serve as a derivative beneficiary in a preference category immigration petition.

Categories for Family-Based Immigration

Individuals who are seeking to come to the United States using the family-based immigration process either fall into the immediate relative category or the family preference category. Immediate relatives include unmarried children, parents, and spouses of U.S. citizens. There is no annual limit to the number of immigrant visas issued in the immediate relative category.

Qualifying relationships that do not fit within the immediate relative category fall within the catch-all family preference category.  Unlike with immediate relative visas, there is an annual quota or limit of family preference visas that can be issued to these immigrants each year. In many instances, there is a backlog for obtaining a visa through this means.  To determine how long your wait will be, you can look at the Visa Bulletin that is issued by the U.S. Department of State every month. The priority date is the date on which the petition was filed with USCIS. The Visa Bulletin will let you know what priority date is currently being processed for a visa that month.

Applying for a Green Card

Applying for a green card can be a complex process. Some of the key steps include the following:

  • The petitioner files Form I-130 to formally request that a member of his or her family be permitted to immigrate to the United States.
  • USCIS must approve the petition.
  • There must be a visa number that is available. This means that if you are in a preference category, you must wait for your priority date to become current.
  • The foreign family member must submit a formal green card application either through the U.S. consulate or with USCIS through an application to adjust status. 

Call a Knowledgeable Chicago Family-Based Immigration Lawyer about Your Legal Issue Today

At the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, P.C., our legal team can assist you with all aspects of the family-based immigration process. For a case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Chicago family-based immigration attorney, please call us today at 312-782-1804 or contact us online today to learn more about how we could help you every step of the way.

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