Birmingham Family Immigration Lawyer
In the United States, there is a process that allows citizens or permanent residents to sponsor family members into the country known as family immigration. Family immigration is one of the best options for lawfully entering the country, but the process is complex and can be challenging to effectively complete without a skilled attorney. Fortunately, a dedicated Birmingham family immigration lawyer could give you or a loved one the best chance of obtaining a visa.
Forms of Family Immigration
There are two categories of family immigration depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident: the family preference system and immediate relative immigration. A family immigration attorney in Birmingham could help a person navigate either of these two processes.
Immediate Relative Immigration
The stronger of the two methods is immediate relative immigration. This option is reserved for applicants related to a United States citizen who could serve as their sponsor. The path to immigration is much easier for these immediate relatives compared to other individuals.
There are three types of immediate relatives. The first category is for spouses of U.S. citizens. The second includes parents of a citizen who are also considered immediate relatives if the citizen is at least 21 years old. The third includes unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are under 21 years of age.
There are no limits on how many people can enter the U.S. through immediate relative immigration each year. Unlike other types of immigration, there is no risk of missing an opportunity due to bad luck in a lottery.
Family Preference System
The family preference system is the only option for individuals who do not qualify as immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen. This process is the primary option for adult children or siblings of U.S. citizens and immediate relatives of certain permanent residents. The major drawback of this form of immigration is that there are limits on the number of applications that can be accepted each year.
The Process of Pursuing Family-Based Immigration
There are different steps a person must take to apply for family-based immigration into the United States. The steps differ based on where the individual is located. Specifically, the process for a person already residing within the United States is different from foreign nationals living abroad. In either situation, a family immigration attorney in Birmingham could be of assistance.
Individuals that already have legal status and are residing within the United States need only to petition to adjust their status. This is typically done when a non-permanent resident applies for a green card. These individuals must apply using a document known as Form I-485.
The process of obtaining legal status is different for family members currently living overseas. In order to apply, they must do so through consular processing, which means much of the immigration process will be completed at a U.S. consulate office in their home country.
Call a Birmingham Family Immigration Attorney for Help Right Away
If you or an immediate family member are considering immigrating to the United States, a seasoned attorney could help. Your legal counsel could guide you through the steps of the application and ensure that you choose the appropriate immigration process to begin with.
Let a Birmingham family immigration lawyer lead you on your path to lawful residency. Call our office immediately to set up your initial consultation.