Family Based Immigration
Shelby County Law Firm Assisting Spouses, Parents, and Children Planning to Immigrate to the U.S.
Memphis, TN Family Immigration Attorney
Bringing your loved ones to the United States through immigration can be a complex and lengthy process. Various types of visas are available depending on a person’s status as a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and their relationship to the family members who wish to immigrate. The experienced, compassionate attorneys of Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law can help you understand your options and work with you to complete the immigration process.
Petitioning for Family Members
U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) can apply to have their family members come to the United States by filing Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). After doing so, the family members may qualify for one of the following visas:
- Immediate Relative Visas – Available for the spouses of U.S citizens, unmarried minor children of citizens, and parents of citizens who are over the age of 21.
- Fiancé Visas – Available for the fiancé/fiancée of U.S. citizens, allowing them to come to the United States to get married. The marriage must take place within 90 days of their arrival in the country.
- Family Preference Visas – Available for married children, unmarried adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens, and for spouses and unmarried children of LPRs.
Once family members have received visas and are residing in the United States, they can file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status) to apply for a Green Card.
Spouses who have been married for more than two years will receive an Immediate Relative (IR1) visa, but if they have been married less than two years, they will receive a Conditional Residence (CR1) visa, which will be valid for two years. Before this visa expires, spouses must file Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence).
Asylum or Refugee Status
People who have been the victims of persecution and are unable or unwilling to return to their home country for fear or harm may apply for refugee or asylum status. Someone who has been granted refugee or asylee status may petition to bring their family members (spouse and unmarried minor children) to the U.S. by filing Form I-730 (Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) within two years of their arrival in the country.
Spouses of Military Members
If a U.S. citizen is a member of the armed forces and is stationed in a foreign country, their spouse may apply to become a U.S. citizen through expedited naturalization. To qualify, a spouse must be a Lawful Permanent Resident, and they must meet certain conditions, such as having basic knowledge of U.S. civics and being able to speak, read, and write basic English.
Waivers of Inadmissibility
A person who has applied for a visa may have their application rejected for one or more reasons (known as grounds for inadmissibility). These reasons may include:
- Health issues, such as vaccinations or drug addiction
- Multiple criminal convictions or engaging in criminal activity such as drug trafficking, prostitution, or money laundering
- National security reasons
- Likeliness of becoming reliant on public assistance
- Fraud or misrepresentation in immigration documents
- Previous removals from the United States
People who are not eligible to be admitted to the U.S. may still be able to apply for a visa or to adjust their status by filing Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility).
An immigrant who is the victim of domestic abuse by their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse may be afraid to leave their abuser for fear of deportation. However, these victims may apply for a visa allowing them to stay in the United States by filing Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant). Upon approval, they may be able to apply for a Green Card.
Contact a Memphis Immigration Lawyer
If you need assistance obtaining a visa for your spouse, children, or other family members, Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law can provide you with the help you need, ensuring that you meet your legal requirements and advocating for your family’s interests throughout the immigration process. Contact us today at 901-388- 5805.