Navigating U.S. immigration law is akin to trying to find your way out of a maze, except it is twice as complicated. You would think having a family member given papers would be a straightforward process that should take no time, but that is not the case. Many cases take years to process and often because of shoddy handling by those who file them. At Minsky, McCormick, and Hallagan, we have experienced family immigration lawyers in Elgin who help clients in the area successfully navigate this complex immigration system.
A person who is not a U.S. citizen that desires to come and permanently live in the United States is required to first apply and obtain an immigrant visa (Green Card). To be approved for a Green Card, the non-citizen must be sponsored by an “immediate relative” who is at least 21 years of age and is either a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder. An immediate relative is
The number of green cards available for this category of immigrant visas is unlimited, unlike all other immigrant visa categories. This is significant because the time it takes to process a green card for an immediate relative is far shorter than it would take to process and get approved for a green card in all other categories.
The other category of family-based immigration is the “family preference” category. The category is for more removed family relatives of U.S. citizens and some specific family relatives of Green Card holders. Unlike the immediate relative category, the number of green cards available for this category is limited each fiscal year.
Because of this limitation on the number of green cards available for the family preference category, the waiting time is much longer than that for immediate family members. For example, siblings of U.S. citizens wait an average of about 10 years for certain countries. On the other hand, immediate relatives can have their paperwork processed and receive their green cards in less than one year.
However, these processing times can be even longer if the proper paperwork is not filed with the right office or if the paperwork filed is missing information. In many cases, petitions and applications are denied simply because of small errors such as wrong dates of birth and so on.
It is therefore important to have an experienced family-based immigration lawyer to make sure the paperwork is correctly and accurately prepared and filed with all the supporting documents and fees.
An experienced family immigration lawyer in Elgin can not only make sure the paperwork is accurately prepared and filed, but they will also be able to identify and have issues addressed before filing, which could otherwise lead to denial of a petition or application.
If you are in the Elgin area and need the services of a family-based immigration lawyer, contact us today for a consultation.