Family-Based Immigration Attorneys in Sacramento, CA: We Reunite Families by Helping Your Loved Ones Obtain Legal Status
While the United States of America may be a nation of immigrants with a history of welcoming new blood from far-off shores, the immigration system has always been complicated and has only become more so in our heated political climate. Despite the constantly shifting policies and laws, the offices of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have a number of options available to citizens and those with legal residency to sponsor a family member for a green card. After obtaining a green card, a lawful permanent resident may then potentially pursue the pathway to U.S. citizenship and naturalization.
The application process for immigrant visas can be complex and lengthy, however, and certain petitioners may not qualify for the type of visa that they seek. To better ensure that you and your family members secure the immigrant visa that helps you, and that you understand the complicated nature of the ‘preference categories’ relating to family-based immigration, we must advise you to consult with an immigration attorney well-versed in these areas of the law.
The law firm of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., has years of experience and noted success, so you may feel confident that your case is in the right hands. The attorneys and staff of our law offices have helped clients with a number of legal services pertaining to immigration, from the uplifting stories of families reunited to the darker elements of immigration, such as human trafficking, petitions for asylum, seeking approval for refugee status, and victims of crimes and abuse.
Many of the professionals working at our law offices are immigrants themselves and all of us understand the importance of the cases we are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. This is not just a simple legal matter to you or your loved ones; this is about the protection, safety, and security of having your family members in your embrace on American soil, with the confidence of knowing they are here legally.
Your family, your spouses, your children, your parents… these are the people who make up your life. These are the people who make that life whole. The petition process to secure them legal entry into the U.S. may be complicated but it is not an impossible task. However, that does not mean you should represent yourselves and file the forms and waivers yourself. Not only will mistakes result in the process becoming more drawn-out, but it could cause an application to be denied.
Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., provides legal representation to clients in and around the Sacramento area. As your representatives, we will strive to provide you and your family with helpful and compassionate legal services as we seek to establish a strong case for seeing your family members lawfully admitted into the country. To learn more, you may request a free consultation with our legal team by contacting our law office.
What Family Members Does U.S. Immigration Law Allow to Petition for Green Cards?
While you may love every family member on your family tree, the USCIS has a tiered list of preference categories that determine who is and who is not eligible for family-based immigration. Or, at the very least, who comes first.
The shortest pathway to obtaining a green card is for the spouse, children under age 18, and the parents of a U.S. citizen.
The preference categories for family-based immigration continue as follows:
• First preference: unmarried sons and daughters (aged 21 years or older) of U.S. citizens.
• Second preference A: the spouses or the minor children (unmarried and under age 21) of legal permanent residents.
• Second preference B: the unmarried sons and daughters (aged 21 years or older) of legal permanent residents.
• Third preference: the married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
• Fourth preference: the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (provided that the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age).
In cases where a spouse wants to bring their foreign national spouse to America, the USCIS must affirm that the marriage is bona fide and not an attempt at fraud. This also applies to cases involving the immigration of a fiancé(e). Provided that your union is legitimate, your spouse should be eligible to obtain a green card.
Please note that same-sex LGBTQ married couples now have the same legal rights that opposite-sex marriages have in matters of United States immigration laws.
Can Lawful Permanent Residents Sponsor Their Relatives in Family-Based Immigration?
While a US citizen has a long list of family members which they may sponsor for green cards, a legal permanent resident has somewhat fewer options. If you do not have US citizenship and only have lawful residency, you may only apply to sponsor your spouse, children who are minors, and unmarried children 21 years of age or older.
The process by which you will apply is very similar to the processes which U.S. citizens use, however.
What Other Ways Could an Immigration Lawyer Assist Clients in Becoming Permanent Residents?
An immigration lawyer is bound by the confidential attorney-client relationship. As your legal representation, our duty is to act in your best interests. We will only proceed with options that our client, the petitioner, feels comfortable with.
In addition to helping you through the process of family-based immigration, we can also provide assistance to you or other members of your family who are looking to obtain an immigrant visa by other means.
While many immigrants rely on the sponsorship of their citizen spouses or relatives, these matters can be made more complex when the sponsors are responsible for domestic violence against the hopeful immigrant. The abusive sponsors may dangle the promise of a green card in front of the victims, suggesting that if they seek legal services the sponsorship may be rescinded. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows a person to self-petition, taking the power away from the person responsible for their abuse, and instead giving the self-petitioner the chance to establish the truth of their situation and demonstrate their worth for residency.
Crimes of domestic abuse, rape, and negligent personal injury cannot be tolerated, whether they’re committed by strangers or our spouses or other relatives. If members of your family have brought harm to you or your sons and daughters, you may be eligible to obtain protection under immigration and criminal law. Please note that although VAWA mentions women by name, the statute does apply to men and children as well.
Additionally, in certain circumstances, your immigration lawyer may be able to assist family members who are asylum seekers as well as those submitting forms for official refugee status.
If you allow our firm to represent you, we can also help you and your relatives seek an adjustment of status, putting you on the path to becoming U.S citizens via naturalization.
Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Sacramento Immigration Lawyers Today
The attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., have years of experience helping clients and their immediate relatives through the complicated system of immigration services. For help determining eligibility for you and your relatives, please speak to an attorney at our office. Whatever the circumstances you are facing, we will strive to create a winning case and look out for your interests at all times.
Our California attorneys offer free initial consultations for those with questions and concerns.
To schedule your free case evaluation, please contact our law office by phone at (916) 244-1718.