Family Petitions Lawyer Fairfax Virginia

Petitions to sponsor family members to lawfully travel to the United States are one of the most common and sought after petition. The person seeking to sponsor a family member is called the petitioner and the relative seeking to emigrate to the United States with lawful permanent status (also known as the green card) is the beneficiary. Any qualifying dependant family members of the beneficiary are called derivative beneficiary. The petitioner must have a qualifying familial relationship with the beneficiary and show that they themselves have the appropriate status (U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR)). If these requirements are met, then the sponsor can submit an Alien Relative Petition (I-130) and processing time will depend on the type of familial relationship and the sponsor's actual status. Familial relationships are broken into six categories:

1. Immediate Relatives (spouses, unmarried children of U.S. Citizens and parents of U.S. Citizen sons or daughters 
2. Unmarried children of U.S. Citizens over the age of 21
3. Spouses and unmarried children of LPRs
4. Unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs over the age of 21
5. Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
6. Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens

The first group is awarded highest priority and the process is relatively short. The lower the group is on the list, the longer the process may be. The lower the preference category, the longer the processing time. Additionally, the age of the beneficiary is critical and turning 21 can affect the petition. The Child Status Protection Act has some provisions that may allow the beneficiary and/or dependant beneficiary to keep their petition and ability to seek lawful status. It is important to seek legal advice in these situations to make the proper determinations and achieve the best results. Another issue to consider is where the beneficiary will be obtaining their green card. If the beneficiary is eligible and is already in the United States, then the process is called an Adjustment of Status. If the beneficiary is abroad, then the process is Consular Processing.

About TATE BYWATER, Attorneys at Law

TATE BYWATER is a full service law firm providing comprehensive representation in criminal law, family law, personal injury, bankruptcy, real estate, immigration law, and business law. We are committed to providing excellent customer service to every client through communication, education, compassion, and respect. 

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10603 Judicial Drive
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