Family Sponsored U.S. Lawful Residence

U.S. immigration laws offer several paths to permanent residence, and most of them begin either with an employer sponsor or with a family-based petition. You can find information below on the most common family-based petitions.

Generally Marriage Petitions can be filed for spouses residing in the U.S. or in a foreign country thru consular processing. One important issue for spouses in the U.S. is unlawful presence, meaning for one who arrives without benefit of a visa or who is on a long visa overstay, the issue becomes can they adjust status in the U.S.

If on has entered without a visa, unless a family petition was filed prior to 4/30/2001 rendering one 245 i eligible under the LIFE Act of 2000, they may not be able to adjust status in the U.S. Otherwise they must obtain an I 601 waiver of inadmissibility in their home country. Please refer to I 601 waivers (below).

Family Immigrant Petitions

K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

This visa allows a U.S. citizen to sponsor a foreign national to enter the United States for purpose of marriage. The foreign national has 90 days to either marry the U.S. citizen or return to their home country.

If the fiancé relationship has been brief our lawyers need to consult with the foreign born fiancé to prepare them for the all important consular interview in their home country. Other issues to discuss are prior marriages of either party as well as any arrests or convictions of the U.S.C. petitioner or of the K 1 beneficiary.

Marriage Visa or Spousal Petition

A marriage visa can be used either for an already-married couple (one foreign national, one U.S. citizen or LPR) or for a couple that plans to marry. Depending on your circumstances and preferences, an engaged couple may prefer to marry abroad and apply for a spousal petition, or the couple may opt for a fiancé visa.

Parent/Child Petition

LPRs and U.S. citizens can petition for their children to join them in the United States as lawful permanent residents. U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old can petition for their parents.

LGBT Spouses

USCIS Regulations now permit LGBT couples to petition for their foreign national spouse or fiancé to adjust status, obtain a K1 Visa, apply for an I 601 A Waiver and Parole in Place, all of the programs listed above. Our firm has obtained Fiance Visas, Adjustments of Status, and has pending Parole in Place and I 601 A Waivers for LGBT couples.

I-601 Waiver

An alien who has accrued unlawful presence or who is outside of the United States and is not permitted to enter again for a certain period (e.g. five or ten years) may be able to apply for an I-601 Waiver if s/he is the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. This is a common option for illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

Our attorneys have advised thousands of married partners in preparation for this all important USCIS interview covering the following potential issues:

  1. Proof of a bona fide fiancé and marriage relationship.
  2. Time place and method of last entry into the U.S.
  3. Affidavit of Support issues of the U.S. citizen sponsor
  4. Good moral character issues of both petitioner (USC) and beneficiary (foreign national)
  5. Unauthorized employment of the beneficiary

Parole in Place

USCIS regulations allow a parent of spouse of a military veteran or current member of the armed services to petition for permanent residence without leaving the U.S. to obtain a visa. We have obtained residence for spouses of veterans from World War 2 and other conflicts abroad as well as for parents and spouses of National Guard members, Iraq veterans etc.


Removal of Conditions (I-751)

If you and your spouse are married for less than two years when you apply for an immigrant visa (Green Card), the foreign national receives a two-year residency. To get a full ten-year resident card, you have to file an I-751 Removal of Conditions approved in the three months before the residency terminates.

Our attorneys:

  1. Obtain documentation of the bona fide nature of the marriage:
  2. Arrange for permission to travel outside the U.S. pending approval of the 10 year green card (advanced parole):
  3. Consult regarding arrests or convictions of either party during the preceding 2 years;
  4. Prepare the parties for the USCIS interview.

Widow/er Petitions

For many years, a foreign national whose spouse died while the paperwork was being processed suffered a double loss: losing a loved one and losing a chance at immigrating to the United States. However, the law has been changed to allow certain immigrants to continue their cases even if their family member dies.

Sibling Petition

A brother or sister of a U.S. citizen, can get an immigrant visa for you, your spouse, and your unmarried children under age 21. Parent/Child Petition. If you are the child of a U.S. citizen or an LPR, you can immigrate through a petition filed by your parent. U.S. citizen adults can also bring their parents over as immigrants. Victims of Abuse. If your LPR or U.S. citizen relative is abusive, you might be eligible for an immigrant visa without that person's assistance. You can self-petition as a victim of abuse, and you may also be eligible for protection through asylum.