Plant Your Roots In The US With Peace Of Mind
Even if you’re living and working in the United States, you may feel uncertain about your long-term future in America without the right documentation. A green card can give you a clearer picture of your future and have similar advantages to U.S. citizens. That way, you can pursue your dreams and passions without being tied to a specific employer.
As an immigrant myself, I know how the uncertainties of not having a green card can impact your daily life. That’s why I work directly with my clients to ensure they follow the processes and take the appropriate steps to become permanent residents.
What Is A Family Petition?
The United States Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides lawful permanent resident benefits (green card) to certain family members of United States citizens (USC) and lawful permanent residents. These are the so-called family petitions.
A family petition starts when the petitioner, the USC or resident, files an immigration petition for the beneficiary, the person wishing to reside in the United States. This petition must be filed with Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), the United States government agency in charge of processing family petitions.
How Submitting A Family Petition Works
Family petitions must be submitted in the appropriate forms, along with evidence of the relationship and immigration fees. When CIS receives the family petition, it issues a receipt notice (commonly known as “torch”) acknowledging receipt of the petition and the fees and assigning a case number. Then, CIS may issue other notices addressed to either the petitioner or beneficiary until CIS decides upon the petition. CIS may render different decisions. For instance, it may:
- Approve a family petition and issue a green card
- Deny the petition
- Close the petition if a request for evidence was demanded but never submitted
Green cards to be obtained through family petitions have different waiting periods depending on whether the petitioner is a USC or a resident and the beneficiary’s preference or category.
Obtaining Green Cards For Family Members And Relatives
When the petitioner is a USC filing a petition for an immediate family relative, the process to obtain the green card is shorter. Usually, between five to 12 months after submission. Close family relatives of USCs are spouses, unmarried children under 21 years of age and parents. Family petitions for relatives other than close relatives of USC and relatives of residents are subject to four categories. In these cases, the waiting time to get the green card depends on the category assigned to the family petition. The four categories are as follows:
- Category 1: Unmarried sons or daughters of USC
- Category 2: Spouses, children, and unmarried sons or daughters of residents
- Category 3: Married sons or daughters of USC
- Category 4: Brothers and sisters of USC
If you have further questions about these categories or anything else related to green cards/family petitions, I am more than happy to speak with you.
Let Me Help You File Your Petition Today
At Arias Villa Law, I can help you prepare and file your family petition. I can also attend your adjustment of status interview (the interview where CIS decides upon your family petition) with you. Call our Miami office at 305-233-3110 now for a consultation. Or, you can email us by filling out our contact form.