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Family-Based Adjustment of Status

Rebecca L. Morgan represents individuals who wish to apply for permanent residence based on a qualifying relationship to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident family member. Ms. Morgan has significant experience in successfully representing family-based applicants whose cases are complicated due to past immigration difficulties, criminal issues or other potential impediments to admission to the U.S. as a permanent resident.

Ms. Morgan also assists spouses and fiancés/fiancées of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. on K visas and thereafter apply to adjust status to permanent residence.

How it works–Permanent Resident Process:

First, we have to start with visa availability…

In order to obtain permanent residence (i.e. “green card”) in the United States, an individual must first be granted an immigrant visa number. Under the current U.S. immigration laws, U.S. citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor certain family members for permanent residence. Family-sponsored visas are divided into two main categories: immediate relatives and preference immigrants, as follows:

Immediate Relatives:

• Includes spouses of U.S. citizens, minor unmarried children (under 21 years old, including certain adopted children and orphans) of U.S. citizens, and parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old. This category also includes spouses and children of U.S. citizens who are victims of domestic violence, and certain spouses of deceased U.S. citizens who were married for at least two years at the time of the spouse’s death and were not legally separated.

• Unlimited number of visas (i.e. no visa waiting period).

• A separate petition must be filed for each immediate relative.

First Preference (F1):

• Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens (over 21 years of age).

Second Preference (F2A & F2B):

• Family 2A – Spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, including those who are victims of domestic violence.

• Family 2B – Unmarried sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents (over 21 years of age).

Third Preference (F3):

• Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.

Fourth Preference (F4):

• Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens 21 years of age or over.

Derivative Beneficaries:

• Spouses and children of the principal immigrant under each preference category are entitled to the same status and order of consideration if accompanying or following to join the principal alien. This does not apply to the Immediate Relative category.

What is the major difference between immediate relatives and preference immigrant categories?

The significant difference is that there are an unlimited number of visa numbers available to immediate relatives, which is not the case for family members who wish to benefit from one of the family preference categories discussed above. Because of the limited number of visas available for each preference category, there are often very long waiting periods due to the backlogs, which in turn delays the availability of immigrant visas. Please refer to the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin to determine the current visa availability.

Please contact our office to discuss the possibility of family-based adjustment of status for you or your family member. Ms. Morgan has the experience to ensure a smooth immigration process and handle any potential complex immigration matters.