Family-Based Immigration and Humanitarian Options

Preserving the Integrity of the Home and Passionately Advocating for Your Rights

Family-Based Immigration

A foreign national with a relative who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident could potentially obtain permanent residency, if the relative is willing to sponsor the foreign national in any of the available categories. U.S. citizens can file petitions for their spouse, parents, children (regardless of age or marital status), and siblings. U.S. permanent residents can only file a petition for their spouse and unmarried children.

There are several different kinds of family-based petitions that we can assist you with.

Immediate relative petitions

This category is reserved for the spouse of a United States citizen (USC), the parent of an adult USC (over 21), or the minor unmarried child of a USC (under 21). There are no quotas in this category. Therefore, there are no backlogs in processing times other than the usual paperwork processing times.

Preference category petitions

These family-based preference categories are subject to a quota system and will usually carry priority date backlogs, with certain countries having much heavier backlogs than others. There are four family-based “preference” categories:

  1. Unmarried son/daughters of USCs (over age of 21)
  2. A: Spouses and children of LPRs (under 21)
    B: Unmarried sons/daughters of LPRs (over 21)
  3. Married sons/daughters of USCs
  4. Siblings of USCs

Fiancé visa

Fiancé Visa or K-1 visa can only be filed by a U.S. citizen (USC). Among other things, supporting documentation must include proof that any previous marriage of either party has been dissolved, and proof that the couple has met personally within the last 2 years (limited exception is applied to this requirement).

Removal of conditions on Residence

If the foreign national married a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in less than 2 years prior to filing the family petition, upon approval of the petition, the foreign national will receive a conditional Green Card. The conditional Green Card is only valid for 2 years. In these cases, foreign national must remove the condition by filing I-751 in appropriate category.

Humanitarian Options

U.S. immigration laws make several humanitarian options available, protecting individuals against disasters, oppression, and other urgent circumstances.
We can help you with the humanitarian options, including the following:

Affirmative Asylum

A person who is seeking asylum should show either persecution or a “well-founded fear” of persecution in the home country, on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

To apply for affirmative asylum, you need to be present in the United States, regardless of how you entered the country or your visa status. Application must be filed within a year of entry, unless certain exceptions apply.

Abused Spouse, Parent, or Child of a U.S. Citizen, or Permanent Resident

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a Federal law that allows foreign nationals to leave their abusive relationship with a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR) without the fear of automatic deportation. Although the law’s name only mentions women, VAWA applicants may be any gender.

VAWA allows spouses, children, or parents who have been abused by their citizen/LPR spouse, parent, or child to petition for legal status independently. Successful petitioners are eligible to apply for a Green Card.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced that certain youth may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization, provided they can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment”. Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion, and is not a path to lawful permanent residency or citizenship. It is, however, a valuable tool for preventing deportation of the individuals that meet the eligibility criteria, as well as giving them the chance to acquire work permits for two years (subject to renewal).

Victims of Criminal Activities: U Visa

The U Visa allows alien victims of qualifying crimes to stay in the United States and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in investigation and prosecution of the crime. U visa holders are eligible to work and receive public benefits. Three years after approval, a U visa holder may be eligible to apply for Green Card.

Victims of Human Trafficking: T Visa

The T Visa is for those who have suffered severe forms of labor or sex trafficking. These individuals are brought to the United States with false promises of employment and a better life, but have become victims of modern-day slavery. T visa holders are eligible to work and receive public benefits. Three years after approval, a T visa holder may be eligible to apply for Green Card.

Contact us at 240-614-7638 or via this website to make an appointment for your initial consultation.