Gastonia Family Immigration Lawyer

A law firm you can rely on to empower you.

Family immigration is the process of sponsoring a loved one to reside in the United States lawfully. This is possible for close relatives of citizens and lawful permanent residents in a variety of circumstances. For some people, this system represents a path to citizenship.

If you hope to sponsor a family member, it is important for you to seek the advice of a dedicated immigration attorney. While thousands of people pursue this option each year, the process is not always simple. The guidance of a Gastonia family immigration lawyer could be crucial for an applicant.

Understanding Family Immigration

There are two unique paths when it comes to applying for a green card based on a familial relationship. Each process has its own quirks, with one option typically taking much longer than the other. These programs are known as immediate relative immigration and the family preference system, and a Gastonia lawyer could assist with either option.

Immediate Relative Immigration

This approach is the preferred method of the two, as it generally takes a matter of months as opposed to a year or more. The shorter timeline is due to the lack of a hard annual limit for this type of green card.

Only a limited number of family members qualify. What’s more, they must be sponsored by a United States citizen as opposed to a lawful resident. The spouse, parents, or unmarried children under 21 years of age of a citizen could take advantage of this system.

Family Preference

Loved ones that do not qualify as immediate relatives must enter the preference system. While it is a viable path to a green card, the major drawback is that there is a limited number of these visas issued each year. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received, meaning it can take some time before an applicant is accepted.

Close family members of lawful permanent residents generally take this approach. The same is true for relatives of citizens, including their siblings or children over the age of 21.

Family Immigration Application Process

Instead of the applicant, this process is initiated by the sponsoring family member. First, they must submit something known as Form I-130. Commonly referred to as a Petition for Alien Relative, this form is important in that it provides proof of the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant. Additional documentation is generally required, including medical records and a photograph.

The way these cases are handled depends on whether the person applying is already in the United States or not. When someone applies for a green card while residing in this country, they go through something known as “adjustment of status.” This allows them to navigate the immigration system without needing to leave the country or return to their home nation.

An individual who resides outside of the country must rely on something known as the “consular process.” This involves remaining in their country of origin and ultimately submitting to an interview at the local U.S. consulate office or embassy. A family immigration lawyer in Gastonia could help with preparing for this meeting.

Call a Family Immigration Attorney in Gastonia Today

If you plan to sponsor a family member to immigrate to the U.S., you could benefit from a discussion with legal counsel. This process is not always easy, and a mistake could set you back years. Reach out to a Gastonia family immigration lawyer today to learn more.

Charlotte Family & Divorce Lawyers and Immigration Attorneys

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