Parents, Children, and Spouses
Currently U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain family members to immigrate to the U.S. and reside permanently: spouses, minor and adult children (either married or unmarried), parents, and brothers and sisters.
Lawful permanent residents can petition for: spouses and minor and adult, unmarried children.
Certain family members are considered “immediate relatives,” and do not have to wait for a visa to become available. Spouses, parents, and minor children of U.S. citizens (under the age of 21) are “immediate relatives” and do not have to wait for a visa to become available.
Family members that are not “immediate relatives” are provided a “priority date” upon filing their petition, and must wait for a visa to become available to them before they can obtain any benefit from the petition. Adult or married children of U.S. citizens, siblings of U.S. citizens, and spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents, are placed in preference categories and must wait until a visa will soon be available to them before they can take action on their petition.
If your family member is abroad, then they may proceed with consular processing and enter the U.S. when a visa is available to them. If they are in the U.S. and in lawful status, then they can adjust their status in the U.S. under most circumstances. If they are in the U.S. but not in lawful status, then how they proceed will vary depending on how they entered the U.S., whether they are “immediate relatives,” whether they are grandfathered under INA section 245(i), or other factors.
For more information about immigration your family, feel free to contact us by email or at (415) 627-9161.