Legal Help To Achieving Permanent Residency Status Through Relatives
A Green Card gives you the right to live and work in the U.S. If you have immediate relatives who are U.S. citizens, or Green Card holders, an I-130 petition can be filed as the first step to achieving permanent residency status. You can apply for a Green Card from within the U.S. by filing this form. If you are living outside the U.S., you can apply through the “consular processing” process. In either case, the first step is to file an I-130 petition. For help with this critical immigration legal matter, connect with our immigration lawyer at Aratta Law Firm at (818) 550-1111.
USCIS Rules: Who Is an Immediate Relative?
Under USCIS rules, immediate relatives include:
- Spouses of a U.S. citizens
- Unmarried children of a U.S. citizens, under age 21
- Parent of a U.S. citizen aged 21 or older
USCIS Rules: Who Is a Non-immediate Relative?
Under USCIS rules, a non-immediate relatives include:
- Husbands and Wives of U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)
- Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens over 21 years of age
- Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (under 21 years of age)
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
- Brothers and sister of U.S. Citizens
A limited number of non-immediate family members are allowed to immigrate to the U.S. each year. Therefore, you can expect a waiting period before your relative is granted permanent residency status, based on the preference and the numbers of immigrants allowed each year. The date you submit Form I-130, when filed correctly, is the date which determines where your spouse will be in line. The sooner you file, the better.
Rules for applying for non-immediate family members are different, because there is a numerical limitation for each category. This is being controlled by U.S. Department of State via Visa Bulletin which is updated every month.
To be eligible for a Green Card as an immediate relative, you must meet a specific set of criteria:
- You have been “inspected and admitted,” or “inspected and paroled” by an immigration officer. This process is required, and our Glendale immigration attorney at Aratta Law Firm and their team can assist you to make the arrangements.
- Once your immediate relative has filed form I-130, your relative must file form I-485, “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.” Your immediate relative will file form I-130, and you are responsible for filing Form I-485. These forms could be filed concurrently.
- Widows or widowers of U.S. citizens can apply for a Green Card. Documentation proving that the legal marriage occurred will be required, along with other supporting evidence.
The Right to Work
The process of gaining legal status as a Green Card holder can take many months, or even longer, due to the numbers of applicants and a large backlog. During the waiting period, our immigration lawyer can help you obtain a work permit. If you are found to be working in the U.S. without legal status, it can lead to serious legal problems, including deportation and removal, and will negatively impact your application for a Green Card, likely barring you from gaining permanent resident status.
Travel Restrictions: What You Need to Know.
If you plan on traveling out of the U.S. while waiting for your Green Card to be processed, it is very important that you first gain a travel document. If you travel without this document, you put your application for a Green Card at risk. To travel legally while awaiting permanent residency, you need “Emergency Advance Parole” that allows you to leave and return to the U.S. without a visa. Without this document, you may face serious consequences.
If you miss your appointment with the USCIS due to being out of the country, the entire process may be started over, putting you back at the end of the line. In most cases, it is best to avoid any travel out of the country unless absolutely necessary, and never without first obtaining an Emergency Advance Parole document. These critical matters can be managed by your immigration attorney at Aratta Law Firm.
After You File an I-130 Petition
Once the forms are filed correctly, with all necessary documentation, you will receive a notice of receipt. You may be required to undergo a USCIS Biometric Appointment to prove your identity so the immigration authorities can perform a criminal background check. You will be required to appear for an interview, and within a few months, the decision regarding your Green Card will be issued.
Contact Us: Immigration Attorneys in Glendale
At Aratta Law Firm, we are dedicated to assisting our clients to achieve permanent residency status in the U.S. We are honored to work with our clients and help them reunite with their families and build new lives, living and working in the U.S. with Permanent Residency status. Contact us today at (818) 550-1111 to speak with us about filing form I-130 which is the first step in gaining legal status for a close relative.