Chicago Family Immigration Lawyers

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Chicago Family Immigration Lawyers

U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their relatives to be given green cards of their own. Sponsoring a relative requires one to file certain papers with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, we have experienced family immigration attorneys who routinely obtain green cards for relatives of clients in the Chicago area. We are based in Chicago but handle cases in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

A relative of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can obtain a green card based on the family relationship, but only if certain requirements are met. The relative can obtain a green card if those requirements are met, whether they are already in the U.S. or outside the country. If the relative is in the U.S., they will apply for a green card under what is known as the “adjustment of status” process

However, adjustment of status is only possible if the relative is in valid legal status or they qualify to waive the requirement to leave the country and complete the process at a U.S. embassy in their country or the nearest U.S. consulate. It is important to note that not all relatives of U.S. citizens or relatives of permanent residents qualify to obtain a green card through that family relationship. 

Categories of Family-Based Visas

Family-based immigrant visas (green cards) are available in two primary categories, and each has several subcategories, depending on the type of family relationship.

Immediate Family Members

Immediate relatives are spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizens who are not married and are under the age of 21. This is the most desired subcategory of family-based immigration because these relatives obtain their green cards the fastest compared to all other categories.

All the US citizen has to do to sponsor any of these family members is to file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (I-130) with USCIS with the supporting documents and pay the applicable fee. Because there is no waiting time for a visa number for relatives in this category, the I-130 can be concurrently filed with an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status for the relative. Once the I-130 is approved, the I-485 is processed next, and the relative gets their green card approved in the United States, or if the relative is outside the U.S., they will have their green card processed in the country the U.S. citizen indicated in the I-130 petition.  

Preference Family Immigration

The other category in family-based immigration is the “family preference” category, which includes all other qualified relatives of U.S. citizens and certain relatives of green card holders. This group includes:

  • Unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are over the age of 21 
  • Spouses and unmarried children of green card holders under 21
  • Unmarried children of green card holders over the age of 21
  • Married children of U.S. citizens; and
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older.

Contact a Family-Based Immigration Attorney Today

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and wish to obtain a green card for any of the relatives listed above, contact Kriezelman Burton & Associates today for a consultation. We are based in Chicago but offer services for our clients in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.