DuPage County Family-Based Immigration Attorneys
Skilled Guidance with Adjustments to Family-Based Immigration Status in Illinois
If you are physically present in the United States and have family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs), you may qualify to apply for a family-based adjustment of status. Family-based visas are available for spouses, children, parents and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as spouses and unmarried children of LPRs. Availability of visas are dependent on the preference category; visas are always available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, however, there is a waiting period for other types of family-based visas. If you or a family member want to apply for adjustment of status based on a family relationship, it is best to work with a skilled immigration attorney to ensure a smooth application and approval process.
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we have extensive experience with all types of immigration issues; including temporary visas, fiancé visas, family-based visas, employment-based visas, adjustments of status, deportation/removal, asylum and criminal defense. Our award-winning attorneys frequently represent clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), and we have in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of these agencies. When foreign nationals want to apply for an adjustment to family-based status, we thoroughly review the case and work closely with our clients to ensure complete documentation is provided and applicants are fully prepared for their interview.
Who May File for a Family-Based Adjustment of Status?
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may petition certain relatives for LPR status in the United States. The petitioner agrees to sponsor the applicant and provide an Affidavit of Support demonstrating a financial capability and the commitment to support the applicant, so he/she does not become a public burden. The process is initiated by filing the Form I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative followed by the Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. For immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, there are no numerical restrictions and there is no waiting time for processing the petition. Individuals who fall into this category include spouses, widows, parents (of USC children age 21 or over) and children (unmarried and under age 21) of U.S. citizens.
All other relatives are divided into preference categories as follows:
- First Preference: Unmarried children of U.S. citizens over age 21;
- Second Preference: Spouses and unmarried children of LPRs;
- Third Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens; and
- Fourth Preference: Siblings of U.S. citizens over age 21.
When U.S. citizens petition for family-based status for a foreign spouse, they are granted conditional permanent residence for the first two years. If, after two years, the marriage is still intact, they may file a joint petition to remove the conditional status. In some instances, however, marriages do not work out and/or the U.S. citizen spouse refuses to cooperate with the filing of the joint petition. In such instances, it may still be possible to remove the conditional status. For example, some foreign spouses may qualify for immigration relief as battered spouses under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).