Brooklyn Family-Based Immigration Attorneys
Family-Based Green Card Assistance in New York & New Jersey
If you have an immediate relative who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, they may be able to help you get a green card. A green card allows you to live anywhere in the country and work most types of jobs. You will need this visa if you are interested in possibly becoming a U.S. citizen yourself.
At Usher Law Group, we take a client-centric approach to immigration and are committed to helping you achieve your goals. Our New York City family-based immigration lawyers are prepared to help you navigate each step of the sponsorship process. We have over a decade of legal experience and understand how to effectively approach complex cases. After evaluating your situation, our team will walk you through your legal options and provide the pragmatic advice you deserve.
Who Is Eligible for Family-Based Immigration?
Only existing lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens are able to sponsor family members for green cards. Eligible foreign family members will fall into one of two categories: “immediate relatives” and “family preference relatives.”
Immediate relatives include:
- Spouses of United States citizens
- Unmarried children of United States citizens who are less than 21 years old
- Parents of U.S. citizens when the sponsoring citizen is at least 21 years old
Family preference relatives include:
- Unmarried children of United States citizens who are at least 21 years old
- Spouses of lawful permanent residents
- Unmarried children of lawful permanent residents who are less than 21 years old
- Unmarried children of lawful permanent residents who are at least 21 years old
- Married children of United States citizens (any age)
- Siblings of United States citizens
Only U.S. citizens can sponsor married children, parents, and siblings. They also have exclusive access to the “immediate relatives” category. More distant family members, including aunts, uncles, grandparents, and grandchildren, cannot be sponsored. Same-sex couples can sponsor their spouses.
The first part of the family-based immigration process involves proving a qualifying family relationship exists. You will work with your sponsor to submit an application to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The United States immigration system prioritizes applicants who are categorized as immediate relatives. There is no limit on the number of visas that can be issued to these applicants. Applicants categorized as family preference relatives, however, are subject to visa caps. You should expect a significant, multi-year wait if you are applying as a family preference relative. Our Brooklyn family-based immigration lawyers can evaluate your circumstances and estimate the extent of your wait.
Once USCIS has approved your petition and a visa is available, you can proceed to the next step: applying for your green card. Again, if you are an immediate relative, you can move forward as soon as USCIS processes your initial application.
If you are currently located in the United States, you will need to request an adjustment of status. You should in most cases be able to remain in the country while you wait for your application to be reviewed.
If you are abroad, you must go through consular processing at your home country’s United States embassy or consulate. This will generally require an in-person interview.
You will receive your green card after successfully completing either process. Your green card will expire after two years if you were sponsored by your spouse and married for less than two years. Otherwise, your green card will be valid for ten years and can be renewed indefinitely with relative ease.
If you receive a “conditional” green card that expires after only two years, you will need to complete an additional immigration process to obtain a non-conditional visa. To remove conditions from your green card, you must wait until the 90-day window before the visa expires. Only then can you submit a petition with your spouse to “remove conditions.”
When you apply to remove conditions, USCIS will assess the legitimacy of your marriage. You will need to include new evidence of your evolving relationship with your petition. You may even be asked to participate in another in-person interview. Once USCIS is satisfied, they will approve your request and issue a non-conditional green card that expires after ten years.
Our New York City family-based immigration lawyers know how to handle many types of complications. We may be able to help you remove conditions even if you and your spouse divorce or if your spouse passes away. No matter your circumstances, our team at Usher Law Group will work to identify available legal remedies and diligently represent you in all communications with USCIS.