Family-Based Immigration New Jersey Lawyer
Family-based Immigration is the category under which applications made by United States citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card holders) for their relatives fall. The objective of the family-based petition is to bring a family member to the United States with lawful status, or to obtain legal status for a family member who may be in Removal Proceedings.
There are two kinds of petitions for family-based immigration matters: petitions for immediate relatives, and petitions for other family members. Usually, immediate relatives need not wait for a visa to become available. However, non-immediate family members may have to wait for extended periods of time. Generally, a family member’s wait time depends on their relationship to the petitioner.
A United States citizen can petition for immediate relatives. Immediate relatives include: a spouse, an unmarried child of the United States citizen (under 21 years of age), an orphan adopted by a United States citizen, or the parent of a United States citizen who is at least 21 years old. These petitions typically take between a few months and a year to process.
Other Family Members
In addition, a U.S. citizen can file a petition for a non-immediate family member. Since these family members are further removed, the law requires a longer waiting period before they are eligible to petition for a green card. Non-immediate family members include:
- Spouses, children (unmarried sons and daughters under 21 years of age) of green card holders – current wait period is about two years;
- Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens (21 years of age or older) – current wait period is about 7 years;
- Unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders (21 years of age or older) – current wait period is about 7 years;
- Married sons and daughters of US citizens – current wait period is about 11 years;
- Brothers and sisters of adult US citizens – current wait period is about 13 years.
The process typically includes interviews with the Citizenship and Immigration Service, in addition to filing various forms, and providing extensive documentation. Since family petitions take months or even years to complete, it is crucial that they are done properly to avoid any setbacks. A New Jersey Immigration Attorney can represent you against USCIS in even the most challenging cases. We can lead you through the process, and offer you honest and realistic expectations about what you should anticipate as your case progresses.
New Jersey Family-Based Immigration Lawyer
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.