Family Based Adjustment of Status

Family based adjustment of status is a form of immigration that allows qualifying family members to become legal permanent residents in the United States. It involves a number of steps, including filing a petition for a U.S. citizen, filing for a spouse or fiance visa, and finally filing an adjustment of status application.

Immediate Relatives

If you are seeking green card status based on your family relationship, you may be eligible for a family based adjustment of status. This is a special process that allows people to transition from non-immigrant visas to lawful permanent residency based on an approved immigrant petition filed by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident sponsor.

The immigration process for family based status depends on the preference category that the principal beneficiary is in and his or her country of birth. Typically, immediate relatives such as spouses, children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens enjoy special benefits, such as no waiting periods for immigrant visa availability and the ability to adjust status simultaneously with filing an immigrant visa petition.

However, it is important to note that there are limited family-based preference categories and a wait time for visa availability. This means that if you are seeking to become a lawful permanent resident through an immediate relative, you should seek legal advice before applying.

Preference Alien

When a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident petitions for an alien family member, the relative is usually placed in one of two categories. These are immediate relatives and preference aliens.

Immediate relatives include spouses, unmarried children under 21 and parents of U.S. citizens. These are not subject to a visa wait time and can apply for a green card immediately after an I-130 petition is approved.

However, other family members, such as brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, married children and grandchildren of lawful permanent residents may be in preference categories and must wait until an available visa number is issued.

For employment based immigration, there are five preference categories: First Preference (EB-1 VISA), Second Preference (EB-2 VISA), Third Preference (EB-3 VISA) and Fourth Preference (EB-4 VISA). A labor certification is always required for these preferences. The Attorney General has discretion to exempt a job offer from the labor certification process in certain circumstances.

Green Card

A family based adjustment of status is an option that allows a foreign national to become a lawful permanent resident (green card) because of their familial relationship with a United States citizen or green card holder. This process can be used to get a green card without returning to the home country to complete visa processing.

Depending on the situation, it can be a long and complicated process that requires many forms and documentation. An immigration lawyer can help you navigate the paperwork and determine whether you are eligible for this procedure.

When you apply for a family-based green card, you will need to file an I-485 petition with USCIS. This requires multiple forms and documents that establish the qualifying family relationship between you and your U.S. citizen or green card holder.

Immigration Laws

The family based adjustment of status process is one way to become a green card holder in the United States. This procedure can be very complex and requires the expertise of an experienced green card immigration attorney.

Depending on the relationship, qualified foreign nationals may be able to file a petition to bring their family members to the United States through either an immediate relative or family preference visa category. Immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 years of age.

However, there are strict rules on this category of green card application and a waiting list develops for many family-based immigrants.

The law imposes a numerical cap on the number of family preference immigrant visas that are available each year. Because of this, the demand for family preference green cards exceeds the availability and there is a waiting list.

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