The ability to petition for lawful permanent residency on behalf of your immediate family members is one of the most important rights that U.S. immigration law gives to citizens — and lawful permanent residents to a lesser extent. This process allows you to help your spouse and dependent children make their permanent homes in the United States by petitioning for their immigrant visas so they can start on the path to citizenship. Our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP have assisted U.S. citizens and LPRs throughout NYC and the rest of the country in taking advantage of these important rights and navigating the complex process of reuniting their immediate families in the United States.
The current spouse of a U.S. citizen may qualify for lawful permanent residency in the United States under an IR1 or CR1 visa. This generally requires that both the petitioner spouse and the potential visa recipient file the appropriate applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or an appropriate U.S. consulate. Unmarried children under the age of 21 and parents of a U.S. citizen may also qualify for admission in this manner. In addition, the following family members may qualify to become lawful permanent residents, albeit in a lower priority group and often after a substantial waiting period:
Unfortunately, fiancés and fiancées of U.S. citizens do not qualify for immigrant visas under any category. There are, however; other types of visas that can allow fiancés, fiancées and spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the United States as nonimmigrants pending their marriages and the approvals of their green card petitions. These K visas can bridge the gap and minimize the amount of time spouses, fiancés and fiancées must spend apart during the immigration process.
U.S. immigration law also allows current lawful permanent residents to petition for green cards on behalf of their foreign spouses and unmarried children. The number of green cards issued each year in this manner is strictly limited. This means that there is frequently a substantial waiting period before a visa of this type can be issued. Fiancés and fiancées of lawful permanent residents, unfortunately, cannot obtain a green card in this manner until after the marriage has taken place. Likewise, married children, parents and siblings of lawful permanent residents do not qualify for green cards through this program.
Our team of attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP understands that the American dream falls decidedly short if it means being separated from your family. That is why we have assisted citizens and LPRs in NYC and throughout the country in obtaining residency for the people who matter most to them. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 212-267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems. For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.