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Local No. : 646-930-4488

Affiliations

NY & Long Island Family-Based Immigration

Legal Permanent Residence – “Green Card”

Obtaining a “green card” (I-551) is greatly desired by many people entering or seeking to enter the United States.   Possession of the card itself is not dispositive but rather the person’s status as a legal permanent resident (LPR).  A green card is simply evidence of one’s status as an LPR, and as an LPR, one can permanently work and reside in the United States.  A green card holder should know his or her rights and obligations.

Family-Sponsored Immigration

Family sponsored immigration is divided into two groups: 1) Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens which are not subject to a numerical limit within the overall cap of immigrant visas; and 2) Preference System which is subject to a numerical limitation.

  • Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens: Spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21.  Children over 21 or who are married do not fall within this group but may fall under the first or third family-based preference category below.
    • Parents: If a U.S. Citizen is petitioning his or her parent, the U.S. Citizen must be 21 years or older.
    • Unmarried children under 21: This includes a step-child provided that the child was under 18 when the step-relation was created.  It also includes adopted children provided that the child was adopted under 16, the parent had two years of legal custody and that the adopted child was residing with the parent for two years.
    • Spouses: The marriage must have been valid at inception.  Also, it must be valid under the foreign country’s law.  If one remarries, the prior divorce must be valid and final and not simply a separation nor a religious divorce.
  • Preference System:
    • First preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
    • Second preference: Spouses and unmarried children of LPRs (F2A) and unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs (F2B)
    • Third preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens (F3)
    • Fourth preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens (F4)

Priority Dates

The order of visa availability is determined by priority dates and for relative preference petitions, the priority date is the date the petition is correctly filed.  One can have an general indication of the approximate waiting time for visa availability by checking the priority date for a particular family-based category.  A spouse obtains the same priority date as the beneficiary as long as the marriage still exists.

We will help you with your family-based immigration needs. We want you to reunite with your loved ones and will help you with your immigrant applications to bring them into the United States.