Immigration law is a complex area. If you are thinking about petitioning for a family member it is important to speak with an experienced attorney that can guide you through the process.
Who can you petition for?
If you are a US Citizen you can petition for: your spouse, fiancé(e), children, parents and siblings.
If you are a permanent resident (green card holder) you can petition for your spouse and unmarried children.
Some of the family members that qualify for immigration benefits are subject to numerical limitations. The waiting time varies depending on the preference category the family member follows into.
Sometime when an immediate relative is present in the United States, a petition for a relative and his or her permanent residence application can be filed together.
What happen when an immigrant is charged with a crime?
If an immigrant is charged with a crime he or she should consult an immigration attorney before pleading guilty to a crime. A criminal conviction can affect your immigration status, making you inadmissible or even trigger removal proceedings.
In many cases, the immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a crime can be harsher than the criminal consequences.
Only a US citizen can petition for a fiancé. Once USCIS issues the fiancé(e) visa, the intending immigrant can travel to the US and he or she should marry the US citizen within 90 days of entering the United States.
Once the US citizen and the immigrant marry, he or she can apply for adjustment of status (the process to become a lawful permanent resident).
The US citizen can also petition for the children of his or her fiancés(e) if the children are unmarried and younger than 21 years old.
Naturalization is the process by which a permanent resident can apply to become a US citizen after a certain number of year. It is either 5 years or 3 years depending of whether you have been married and living with the same US citizen.
Contact an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility.
General requirements for naturalization:
Being at least 18 (except active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces).
Being a permanent resident of the United States for the required period of time.
Having lived within the state or USCIS district where you claim residence for at least 3 months prior to filing.
Physical presence within the United States for a required period of time.
Continuous residence for a required period of time.
Good moral character.
Attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
Take and pass an English and Civic test or being eligible for an exception.
You take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States. Some applicants may be eligible for a modified oath.