Do You Need to File a Family Petition or Adjustment of Status?
The Family Petition is used in order for you or your family member to use your citizenship or LPR to sponsor a non-citizen for temporary or permanent residency! Call us today to find out how we can help you file independently.
If you have questions about whether or not you qualify, give us a call and we can help!
Who Can Apply
US Citizens can file petitions for Adult Married Children, Siblings, and Parents. If you are an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen or USC, there is no waiting period. The Beneficiary who is an Immediate Relative of the Family Petition can file for Adjustment of Status right away.
Legal Permanent Resident
Legal Permanent Residents can file petitions for their Spouse and their unmarried child(ren). In order for LPR’s to file petitions for married children, siblings or parents, they will need to wait until they’re naturalized US Citizens.
What Happens After My Family Petition is Approved?
The second step after the Family Petition is APPROVED is gaining legal status in the United States through Adjustment of Status. The process is slightly different depending on whether you are inside or outside the US. If you are an immediate relative of a US Citizen, you can file for Adjustment of Status at the same time as your Family petition. Otherwise, there will be a waiting period indicated by the VISA Bulletin (See FAQ below).
To get approved for Adjustment of Status, you will need to be prepared to answer core questions about your eligibility that include criminal record, moral character, finances, and tax paying status. You will need to show that you or a family member can support you financially.
Contact our office and we will answer any questions you may have as well as get you prepared to answer the questions that will be asked of you!
Don’t Wait! Let Us Help You with Your Family Petition Today
USCIS in accordance with the Department of State determines the visa availability for immigrants who enter the USA lawfully. The number of immigrant visa availability depends on each year in family preference visa categories. The United States limits the number of visas available in certain categories by country. Sometimes it depends on the date the petition was filed and the number of other Aliens waiting for the same type of category. The date the petition was filed is called “priority date”.
Immediate relatives are non-citizens who are related to the USC as a: Spouse, Unmarried child under the age of 21 years old, or a Parent of a U.S. Citizen Petitioner. A Stepchild of a USC Petitioner can qualify as long as the parents were married before the child turned 18 years old. If the Family Member is not an Immediate Relative of a USC then they will need to review the Visa Bulletin to determine how long they will have to wait in order to apply for adjustment of status
If you are a USC or an LPR and you would like to petition for your spouse, you must submit additional evidence that your marriage is Bona fide or Good Faith marriage. In other words that you did not enter the marriage under false pretenses solely for immigration purposes and that you entered the marriage in Good Faith. You must also undergo a Bona fide marriage interview at the offices of USCIS where they will ask questions about your personal life. The USCIS officers may even come to your home to see if you are really a couple. It is recommended to have an attorney prepare you and accompany you to this interview, but it is not required.
Sometimes the marriage can become abusive once the USC realizes that the immigrant is at a disadvantage in the relationship. If the relationship turns verbally, physically, or psychologically abusive the immigrant is not obligated to remain in the marriage. There are other options such as the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA where a person can self-petition if they can prove they have been the victim of abuse by the USC. Please see our VAWA page for more information.
The waiting period to be able gain legal Status through a Family Member depends on your category on the Visa Bulletin. After your waiting period through the Visa Bulletin is up the next step is Consular Processing.If the Family Member is outside of the United States, the Adjustment of Status Interview will not take place at the USCIS offices but at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in their country of origin. The interview will be conducted by a U.S. Consulate officer.
- Once the USCIS approves the Family Petition, then they transfer the case to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) for pre-processing. The non-citizen’s case will be created into the National Visa Center or NVC system and a welcome letter will be mailed to the alien’s address.
- The Consular Process takes between 5 to 13 months an average depending on the Consulate you are applying through as they are the ones scheduling your interview.
- An Interview is required followed by a medical examination process. Once the Consular Process application is approved, the non-citizen enters the USA with approved immigration documents in hand. They will enter as a Legal Permanent Resident.
Why Choose Claxton Law?
At Claxton Law, we make it our mission to defend and protect the rights of every one of our clients. Our firm’s main priority is to empower you to achieve the best possible outcome in your case!