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Family Preference Green Card

Getting Green Cards for family members is a popular goal, and with good reason. Green Card holders have the ability to live and work in the United States permanently, and to sponsor others for immigration as well. 

Unfortunately, the complexity of U.S. immigration laws and the limits placed on the number of permanent visas that can be issued each year often make it very difficult to obtain family preference green cards. But Odunlami Law Firm, LLC can help. 

We help individuals and families take advantage of the best available opportunities for immigration, and can prevent mistakes that often lead to unnecessary delays or cause applications to be denied. We understand the potential problems and frustrations because we have been through the process ourselves, and we are dedicated to making the immigration journey better for others. Knowing that many families have been able to reunite in the U.S. because of our assistance is the greatest award we could ask for.

Understanding Family Preference Green Cards

A Green Card is an identification card showing that you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States with all the privileges that come along with that status. Individuals from other countries can gain lawful permanent resident status in several different ways, but the most common methods of obtaining a green card are through family relationships or employment. 

There are two main types of family-based immigrant visas that give you a Green Card: “Immediate Relative” visas and “Family Preference” visas. Immediate relative visas can be issued in unlimited numbers because they are not subject to quotas, but they are only available for certain close relatives of U.S. citizens. Other family members eligible for a Green Card must apply for a Family Preference visa, and applicants may have to wait a considerable time for a visa to become available before they can get a Green Card. 

Categories of Family Preference Green Cards

Applicants for Family Preference Green Cards are divided into different categories based on the priority status of their relationship to their sponsor. Generally, the higher the preference category you qualify for, the shorter your wait will be for a visa, but the country of origin also affects the waiting period. 

Family Preference categories include:

  1. First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens aged 21 or older, along with their minor children (Unmarried children of citizens who are under the age of 21 are eligible for Immediate Relative visas.)
  2. Second Preference (F2): Spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents. Spouses and children under the age of 21 have a higher priority and fall under sub-category F2A while unmarried adult children are classified as F2B.
  3. Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, along with their spouses and minor children.
  4. Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the citizen is 21 years of age or older), including their spouses and minor children.

Eligibility and Application Process

To apply for a Family Preference Green Card, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is serving as the sponsor must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the qualifying family relationship, so it must include supporting documents to definitively prove the relationship and satisfy agency requirements. 

Once the petition is approved, the applicant then needs to wait until a visa is available before moving on to the next step. If the applicant is already in the U.S., they may be eligible to file an application with USCIS to adjust status. Applicants located outside the U.S. will complete the process through the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. 

Wait Times and Priority Dates

The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin lists the dates for which visas are available according to preference category and country. We can help you understand your priority date and how it affects your case and help you monitor visa availability. If a change in circumstances places you in a higher preference category, we can help you amend your application so that you can take advantage of higher priority status. 

Challenges in the Process

  • Long Wait Times: Especially for specific categories and countries with high demand, wait times can extend several years.
  • Legal Nuances: The legal framework governing Family Preference Green Cards is intricate, and policies may change, impacting the process.
  • Documentation: Ensuring that documentation is accurate and complete is crucial to avoid delays.

Why Choose Odunlami Law Firm?

At Odunlami Law Firm, we provide personalized guidance tailored to your family’s unique circumstances. We focus on minimizing stress and uncertainty for you and your loved ones. We are fluent in English and Spanish, and always available to answer your questions.

Contact Us Today

Securing a Family Preference Green Card is a significant step toward reuniting your family in the United States. The path can be complex, but you don’t have to face it alone. Contact Odunlami Law Firm, LLC at 973-993-1900 or visit our website to set up a consultation. Let us help you bring your family together. 

Schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney and get your case started today.
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