Family-Sponsored Preferences

Winter Park Family-Based Immigration Lawyer

Relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who do not fit into the USCIS category of immediate relatives can also obtain green cards through the family-based immigration process. Unlike immediate relatives, relatives who fit into family preference categories do not have special immigration priority. This means that the amount of visas available are limited by the USCIS and the length of time it takes to obtain a green card for immigrants in family preference categories will be longer. Visa availability will also differ for foreign nationals depending on their preference category.

Preference Categories

The preference categories for relatives of both United States citizens and permanent residents are as follows:

First Preference
Unmarried children age 21 or older of U.S. citizens.

Second Preference

  • 2A: Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children age 21 or younger of permanent residents.
  • 3A: Unmarried children age 21 or older or permanent residents.

Third Preference
Married children of any age of U.S. citizens.

Fourth Preference
Siblings of U.S. citizens age 21 or older.

As there is a set number of immigrant visas issued each year for relatives in preference categories, visas may not always be available. Visas will be distributed according to an applicant's preference category and their priority date. Priority dates are used to determine an applicant's place in line and will depend on:

  • The demand for and supply of immigrant visa numbers
  • The percentage of visa limitations per country
  • The number of visas for a particular preference category

Application Process

The application process for family preference categories will begin when a U.S. citizen or permanent resident files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Proof of a permanent resident's status will be required, as well as evidence of the family member's relationship. This can include documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and others. As with the immediate relative immigration process, family member beneficiaries can complete the immigration process in or outside of the United States. Relatives inside the U.S. can apply to adjust their status when a visa becomes available. Applicants outside of the U.S. can meet the necessary immigration procedures through consular processing.

Skilled Immigration Lawyers Serving the Greater Orlando Area

Our legal team at Robert Brown LLC works diligently to apply our extensive knowledge and experience in helping families immigrate successfully to the United States. We strongly urge U.S. citizens and permanent residents interested in sponsoring a relative through a family preference category to bring their cases to the attention of an attorney from our firm as soon as possible. As priority dates and visa limitations can affect the amount of time your family member will have to wait to immigrate to the U.S., swift action and correctly compiled applications are essential to favorable and effective resolutions.

Our firm also offers case evaluations for U.S. citizens and permanent residents throughout the state of Florida. During evaluations our legal team can thoroughly analyze your situation and inform you how your personal immigration process will work. In addition, we can provide you with details about how our firm can assist you during the process.

If you would like to discuss the nature of your Orlando family-based immigration case, contact Robert Brown LLC today. Our office is located just outside of Orlando in Winter Park.

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