San Jose Family Immigration Lawyer
If you are separated from your family while living in the United States as a citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR), you may wish to bring them here, with the assistance of a family immigration lawyer. There are paths to having your family join you, and enlisting professional legal help can educate you about ways to be with your family that you never knew about.
The family unit is one of the strongest bonds in the universe, and being without your spouse, children, parents, or siblings can make life less enjoyable. You may be concerned about your family members’ health and well-being elsewhere.Don’t live with worry or wondering what could have been. Reach out to Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office in San Jose, California today to learn more. We are family immigration lawyers who are experienced in family immigration. Call us at 408-292-7995, or use our easy online form to schedule a consultation.
Fierce And Compassionate San Jose Family Immigration Attorneys
Who can apply for a family member to come and live in the United States? To unify families, United States immigration laws allow lawful permanent residents, United States citizens, asylees and refugees to petition for certain relatives to come live in the U.S.
At Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office, P.C., our San Jose family immigration lawyers fight to reunite families in California’s Bay Area and throughout the state, using compassionate and skilled representation. We will shepherd you through the process of applying for the right to reunite with your spouse, children and other relatives. As your lawyers, we will help bring your family together to enjoy the next phase of your life.
How Can a Family Immigration Lawyer Help You?
Family-based immigration in the United States is a complex process. There are hundreds of laws that determine who is allowed to come here, and there are limited family-based visas issued to foreign nationals each year. Those limits are largely dictated by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Because the immigration process is so complicated, it pays to have a legal professional on your side who knows the ins and outs of the law so you have your best chance at success. We can guide you through every step of the immigration process and make sure you don’t miss anything important. We’ll help you assemble the necessary documents, ensure your paperwork is filled out properly, and offer guidance on strategies and your rights.
Family relationships are discussed in greater detail below. But understand that they need to be clear to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Proving Relationship Status To USCIS
Proving relationships can sometimes be tricky because births may not have been recorded right away, names may have changed, phonetic spellings may be different and so forth. There are also age and marital status restrictions. The process itself can be long and missteps along the way can jeopardize your relative’s ability to come to the United States.
Whether your relative is in the United States and is eligible to adjust status or is abroad and will need consular process, we will submit applications in a timely matter, monitor the progress and prepare you for your interview. We celebrate families reuniting and feel privileged to have succeeded in being a part of so many family reunions. Our approach is simple. If you are eligible, we will fight until you win.
Our services include help with all necessary applications, including:
- Petition for Alien Relative (I-130)
- Petition for Asylee Relative (I-730)
- Adjustment of Status (I-485)
- Consular Processing (DS260)
- Waivers (I-601)
- Petition to Remove Conditions (I-751) Joint and Waivers
Complete and proper use of these documents by a professional can significantly improve your chances of success without needless delays. We will demonstrate that your relatives are eligible for immigrant or asylee status in this country. Down the road, we can also assist with adjustment of status and acquiring citizenship for you and your relatives.
What Is the Green Card Application Process?
Family immigration starts with at least two family members: a petitioner and a beneficiary. The petitioner is required to be a lawful permanent resident or US citizen who desires to sponsor a family member from abroad in obtaining a green card. A green card is an identity document demonstrating that the holder is a permanent resident of the United States.
The beneficiary is the person who wishes to receive the green card. There can be derivative beneficiaries, such as a spouse or child of the primary beneficiary.
The process begins with the petitioner submitting a request to the US government to permit a family member to immigrate. The petitioner must use Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and submit it to USCIS.
After that, the process can take months or even many years, depending on the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. Different relationship categories have different quotas and wait times:
- Receipt of petition – about 2-3 weeks after filing
- Review of petition – about 2-4 weeks after filing
- Approval of petition – between 5 months and 20+ years after filing
We’ll talk about the two categories of family-based immigrants more in the section below.
Once a petition has been approved by USCIS, and once a visa is available (there is a waiting list in most cases), the beneficiary may apply for a green card. There are two processes for this. Consular processing, applying through the US embassy or consulate from abroad, is by far the most common method. In far fewer cases, adjustment of status may allow someone who is already in the US as a visitor to change their visa status.
How do you know when a family member is near the top of the waiting list and a visa will be available soon? The US State Department publishes a visa bulletin each month that lets families know when they are reaching the front of the line.
Can You Apply for a Visa for Any Family Member?
As mentioned above, there are two basic categories of family members when petitioning for a green card. Considered “immediate relatives” are:
- Spouse of a US citizen
- Parents of a US citizen over the age of 21
- Unmarried children under age 21 of a US citizen
- Orphan adopted abroad by a US citizen
- Orphan to be adopted in the United States by a US citizen
Immediate relatives are considered a family immigration priority. Visas for this category are unlimited. There is no waiting line for a visa either.
All other family members are considered to be in the “family preference” category. This includes:
- Spouse of a permanent resident
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a permanent resident
- Unmarried adult sons and daughters (over age 21) of a permanent resident
- Married sons and daughters of any age of a US citizen
- Brothers and sisters of an adult US citizen
Family members that CANNOT be directly petitioned include:
Get Help with Your Family-Based Immigration Petition!
The above is a simplified outline for your information. The reality of family-based immigration is usually much more involved. As discussed, there can be issues that arise with form I-130. Also, if you are petitioning for your spouse to join you in the US and you have been married less than two years at the time of visa approval, conditional permanent residence is typically granted. This is because the government wants to see that you remain together in a legitimate marriage.
This is just one example of why having a family immigration lawyer can be so essential. These nuances, all the paperwork involved, and relationship verification can be time-consuming and fraught with stress. Let us help take some of that off your plate and give you help in navigating the system.
Call Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office today at 408-292-7995, or schedule a consultation using our convenient online form. You’ll be relieved you asked for assistance, and you’ll never doubt you did everything correctly for your family petition.