Cicero Family Immigration Attorney

Cicero Family Immigration Attorney

U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to file papers with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking to give their relatives legal immigration status and have them join them here in the U.S. if they are not here already. At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, PC, our Cicero family immigration attorneys help clients to navigate the U.S. immigration system when filing papers and obtaining status for qualified relatives.

All family-based immigrants are grouped in two major categories: immediate relative or family preference. Immediate relatives are spouses, parents, and unmarried children (under age 21) of U.S. citizens. There are several advantages that accrue for this category, with one of them being there are no limitations as to how many people can migrate under this category. 

The other major category of family-based immigration is the “family preference” category, which comprises all other qualified relationships of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. This category is further subdivided into subcategories as follows:

  • First preference – unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who are 21 years of age and older
  • Second preference – spouses and children of green card holders who are unmarried and under 21 years of age
  • Second preference – unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders who are 21 years of age and older
  • Third preference – married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and
  • Fourth preference – sisters and brothers of U.S. citizens if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older.

One of the drawbacks of being classified in this family preference category is the number of immigrant visas available for this category is limited. For this reason, there is a backlog causing long waits for many in this category to obtain their green cards.

The Family-Based Immigration Process

The process for family-based immigration starts with the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) filing a petition with the USCIS and paying a fee for it. If you are a U.S. citizen, then your qualifying relative can concurrently file their application for a green card at the same time you are filing the petition and pay the required fee. If you are a green card holder, then you will first need to file the petition, and your relative can only apply for their green card once the petition is approved.

Your petition will be reviewed by a USCIS examiner to first establish that there is a valid, legal relationship between you and the relative you are filing for and secondly, that the relationship was not entered into for purposes of circumventing U.S. immigration law. 

If those two requirements are satisfied, the USCIS examiner will next determine whether your relative is eligible for admission as a permanent resident and that they are not barred by the various grounds of inadmissibility.

Call an Experienced Cicero Family Immigration Attorney Today

Obtaining a family-based green card is a complicated process, and having an experienced immigration attorney can make a difference in both navigating the process smoothly and avoiding or successfully addressing issues that may otherwise be problematic. Contact us today for a consultation.


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