Family Based Immigration

Persons who have a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may seek to obtain legal status in the United States by filing a family petition. United States immigration system is one of the most complex in the world. The visa rules and associated laws can be interpreted differently by the various government bodies entangled within the immigration world. This website is not a substitute for help from our office to help you and your family with your specific immigration matters.

There are two groups of family based immigrant visa categories which include immediate relatives and family preference categories. These visa categories are based on a close family relationship with either a United States citizen described as an Immediate Relative or a Lawful Permanent Resident which requires their relatives to “stand-in-line.”


The following individuals are classified immediate relatives:

  • Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
  • Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
  • Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
  • Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old

The United States also has the Family Preference Immigrant Visas. These visa types are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).

The family preference categories are:

  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any. Only 23,400 visas are allowed annually.
  • Family Second Preference (F2):
  • F2A: Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents
  • F2B: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Lawful Permanent Residents.
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children.
  • Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age.

All of the people who are “waiting-in-line’ have a priority date which they much check against the Visa Bulletin Board. This will allow them to ensure their priority date has come up and therefore can file their adjustment applications if in the United States or Consular Process if abroad. Before you file, you must ensure to consult an attorney to advise you of the various inadmissibility laws that might affect you. Our office is fully equipped to answer any questions and help guide you through the process.

Here is a list of other specific areas we are able to assist you.

  • Fiancé visas
  • Removal of conditional permanent residency; subsequent divorce
  • Renewal / replacement of Green Cards
  • Replacement of Naturalization / Citizenship documents
  • I-130 immigrant petitions for siblings, children, parents, spouses, step-kids
  • Immigrant domestic abuse / Battered spouse visas (Violence Against Women Act – VAWA)
  • National Visa Center (NVC) Consular processing
  • Advanced parole
  • Re-entry permits

If you are ready to schedule a consultation and meet with attorney Maricela Amezola, please use this link to schedule your appointment.