You may qualify for immigrant visa if you are: 1. the spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen or  2. you are the spouse or unmarried son or daughter of a permanent resident.

The U.S. immigration law classifies Family-Based immigration into two groups: Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens and the four Family-Based Preferences.

What is a Petitioner?  The U.S. citizen or permanent resident filing for a relative (petitioning for the relative) is the petitioner.

What is a beneficiary?  The relative trying to get an immigrant visa.

If you are an immediate relative of U.S. Citizen if you fall into one of the categories below:

1. You are a spouse of a U.S. citizen.

2. You are an unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen.

3. Your are a parent of a U.S. citizen so long as the U.S. citizen is at 21 years or older.

4. Spouse of a deceased U.S. Citizen:  You were married to the U.S. citizen for at least two years at the time of their death and you were not legally separated at the time of death.  You self petitioned within two years of your spouses death and you have not remarried.

No quota to worry about!

If you are an immediate relative of U.S. citizen, as described above, you don’t have to worry about quotas or waiting lists.  You’ll be able to get your “green card” as soon as your application/papers are processed because the number of visas available to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens is unlimited.

Family Based Categories

Quotas do apply to the Family based categories.  The following list is the range of family based preference categories you need to be aware of:

1.  First Family Based Preference: Adult unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or older) of U.S. citizens.

2.  Second Family Based Preference A.  Spouse and unmarried children (under age 21) of permanent residents.

3.  Second Family Based Preference B.  Unmarried sons and daughters of (of any age) of permanent residents.

4.  Third Family Based Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens.

5.  Fourth Relative Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens if the US citizen is age 21 or older.

Overcoming Obstacles to Becoming A Permanent Resident: Inadmissibility

Being “inadmissible” means one of the “bars” listed below will prevent you from becoming a permanent resident even if you qualify under immediate relative or under one of the preference categories.  Some of the obstacles or “bars” that may make you “inadmissible” are:

1.   Having been unlawfully present in the United States.

2.  Likelihood that you will be come a “public charge” (e.g., welfare or public assistance).  See Immigration News for up to date rule changes regarding the Affidavit of Support (Form 1-864).

3,  You have engaged in criminal activity.

4.  You lied or mispresentated your background to the USCIS or to a US consul.

5.  Political Activity (e.g., You joined the communist party declaring to overthrow the US government).

6. Medical conditions.

If you wish to apply for an immediate relative visa or one of the Family Based preference visas, please schedule an appointment to see Attorney George Pappas.