ThinkstockPhotos-523158854 copy.jpg


Family-based Immigration

United States citizens and legal permanent residents (green-card holders) can help certain family members immigrate to the United States. This is a two-step process. The first step is the family visa petition and the second is the application to become a permanent resident. 

Parents, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives and do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number.

Family members of legal permanent residents and other family members of U.S. citizens must await a visa number according to a preference system. Visa numbers are assigned according to the following preference system:

  • First preference — Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens (21 and over)
  • Second preference — Spouses and unmarried children of individuals with lawful permanent resident status
  • Third preference — Married children of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth preference — Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens

Some family members can adjust their status to that of a legal permanent resident without having to leave the United States (Adjustment of Status), while others must return to their home country to process the case, which is known as Consular Processing. The intending immigrant must show that they are admissible to the United States and if not, must qualify for a waiver. 

The Law Office of Maureen McSorley has more than two decades of experience handling all types of complex family-immigration cases and is uniquely qualified to handle your family immigration needs in a timely manner to assure your family is united as quickly as possible.