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Family Immigration Attorneys Hinsdale

Family Immigration Attorneys Hinsdale

A United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) is allowed under U.S. immigration law to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for their qualifying relatives to be given green cards based on their family relationship. At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, we have experienced family immigration lawyers who routinely help clients in Hinsdale successfully obtain green cards for their qualifying family members.

The immigration process to obtain a family-based green card – and how long it takes – depends on what category under which the application is filed. Family immigration law is divided into two broad categories under which most family members immigrate, and these are “immediate relatives” and “family preference” categories.

Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizen

One is an immediate relative of a United States citizen if they have one of the following relationships with a U.S. citizen:

  • Legally married to a U.S. citizen
  • An unmarried child of a U.S. citizen who is under the age of 21
  • A parent of a U.S. citizen if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old

If you fall into any one of these categories, you can apply for a green card on that basis. A major benefit of being in any of these relationships is that your application for a green card will be processed much faster than in another category. 

Doing anything that removes you from the category will take you out of the fast-processing lane. For example, if you start your immigration process as an unmarried child of a U.S. citizen who is under the age of 21, but you get married before your green card is approved, you will then fall into a different immigration category, where you might have to wait much longer to get your green card.

Family Preference Visas

Family members of U.S. citizens who are not classifiable as immediate relatives or those who are relatives of lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for a green card under what is referred to as the “preference” categories. These are as follows:

  • First preference (F1) – unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are over the age of 21 years old
  • Second preference (F2A) – spouses and unmarried children who are under the age of 21 years of green card holders
  • Second preference (F2B) – unmarried children of green card holders who are over the age of 21
  • Third preference (F3) – married children of U.S. citizens; and
  • Fourth preference (F4) – siblings of U.S. citizens, provided the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age or older

Meeting the eligibility criteria to obtain a green card based on a family relationship is only half of the story. The other half is navigating through the complex immigration system to obtain a green card. 

Speak with a Family Immigration Attorney in Hinsdale

If you seek a family-based green card, you can avoid delays or unnecessary denial of your application by having a competent and experienced family immigration lawyer in the Hinsdale area to help you navigate the system. Contact the team at Minsky McCormick & Hallagan today – we are here to help!

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