Family Immigration Attorney Chicago

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Family Immigration Attorney Chicago

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) are allowed to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and have their relatives given green cards of their own. However, not all relatives qualify, and the process for those who qualify can be long and complicated. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we have family immigration attorneys who routinely obtain these family-based green cards for our satisfied clients in the Chicago area.

Under U.S. immigration law, certain family members of U.S. citizens and family members of green card holders can be given immigration status as green card holders, but who qualifies and how long it takes to obtain the green card depends on under which category the green card is sought between two broad categories: immediate and preference family members.

Immediate Family Members

A person is an ”immediate family member” if they are a close relative of a United States citizen in any of the following relationships:

  • Spouse, including same-sex marriage in states that allow it.
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21
  • A parent, but only if the sponsoring child is over 21 years old

Anyone in any of these relationships can apply for a green card based on the relationship, and their application will be processed much faster than anyone who applies for a green card under any of the other family immigration categories. However, the relative cannot apply for a green card unless their U.S. citizen relative has filed a petition for them which has been approved. The petition can be concurrently filed with the green card application.

Preference Family Members

Preference family members are all other family members who are not immediate relatives. However, even in this case, not all other family members qualify for the green card. Rather, the preference category is for relatives that fall in any of the following family preference categories:

  • First preference (F1) – unmarried children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21 
  • Second preference (F2A) – spouses and unmarried children of green card holders who are under the age of 21.
  • Second preference (F2B) – unmarried children of green card holders over 21
  • Third preference (F3) – married daughters and sons of U.S. citizens; and
  • Fourth preference (F4) – siblings of U.S. citizens provided the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older.

The Family Immigration Process

The family immigration process begins with the U.S. citizen or green card holder filing Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with the USCIS. The petition is to have the relative approved for a green card. This petition must be accompanied by evidence to show that the relationship exists and that the relationship is genuine and not for purposes of circumventing U.S. immigration law. 

If the petition filed is for an immediate relative, then the petition can be filed together with Form I-485 Application to Register for Permanent Resident or Adjust Status. This is the application used to apply for a green card. 

In all other cases, the green card application card can only be submitted after the underlying I-130 petition is approved.

Seek Help from a Family Immigration Lawyer in Chicago

If you are in the Chicago area and wish to petition for a relative to get a green card or are applying for one, contact us today and schedule an appointment to learn how we can help you.