Family-Based Immigration

Family Immigration Attorneys in Washington D.C.

Expert Guidance for U.S. Family Immigration Processes

Along with bringing in diversity and valuable skills beneficial to the economy, the U.S. immigration system is based on the principles of reuniting families. If you are a foreign national residing in the United States trying to bring your spouse or your relatives to live in the U.S., avenues exist in the proper legal channels to make it happen. These laws can be complex and confusing, and even minor errors can set timelines for reunification back by months or even years.

That’s why you need a team of immigration attorneys you can trust to advise you on the right steps to take from the very beginning of your matter. Call (301) 867-7784 to schedule an initial consultation with a Washington D.C. family-based immigration lawyer at Lacki & Company.

Understanding U.S. Family Immigration Categories

There exist two primary categories for family-based immigrants: “immediate relatives" and “family preference”. The distinction between the two lies in the fact that immediate relatives are not subject to waiting in line to become eligible for visas.

Benefits of the Immediate Relative Immigration Path

The immediate relative category requires that the petitioner (a person with lawful immigration status in the U.S.) must be a U.S. citizen. This category is limited to the following relatives of the U.S. citizen petitioner:

  • Spouse
  • Parent (only if the applicant is aged 21 or older)
  • Unmarried children of a U.S. citizen (if they are 21 years of age or younger)

Why Choose the Immediate Relative Category?

Immediate relatives have several advantages over other relative categories. There is no limit on the number of immigrants accepted into the U.S. each year through this category. Moreover, if immediate relatives have legally entered the U.S., they are exempt from certain grounds of "inadmissibility," such as unauthorized employment, visa overstays, or other violations of their original immigration status. These challenges, often insurmountable for other categories, are mitigated for immediate relatives. For personalized advice on pursuing immigration options for immediate relatives, reach out to a skilled family immigration attorney in the D.C. area.

Exploring the Family Preference Immigration Category

This category encompasses family members outside the "immediate relative" scope. A significant hurdle for non-immediate relatives is the annual cap imposed on their admission. This cap often falls far short of the actual number of eligible applicants, resulting in extensive waiting times, sometimes exceeding 18-20 years for visa availability. Given this reality, working with a D.C. family immigration lawyer early in the process is crucial.

The wait duration and processing complexity vary based on the applicant's country of origin and their relationship with the petitioner. Notably, the family preference category extends eligibility beyond U.S. citizens to include Legal Permanent Residents.

Detailed Breakdown of Family Preference Subcategories

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens: While younger unmarried children (under 21) belong to the "immediate relative" category, older unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens fall under Family Preference Category 1. Wait times differ by country.
  • Spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of Legal Permanent Residents: Currently, this category is "current," implying no wait time for applicants. The application process is likely similar to immediate relative categories.
  • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens: Except for Mexico and the Philippines, the wait time for this category is nearly 10 years. Mexico and the Philippines face longer waiting periods.
  • Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens: This category typically carries an extensive wait time.

As you navigate the intricate landscape of family-based immigration, remember that Lacki & Company is here to guide you every step of the way. Our experienced team, offering services in English, Spanish, and Korean, is committed to providing insightful counsel and dedicated representation. With a wealth of experience and a commitment to excellence, we ensure that your immigration journey is met with the highest level of professionalism and compassion. Whether you are seeking to reunite with loved ones or pursue a new life in the U.S., our years of expertise are at your service. Contact us for comprehensive and personalized assistance in your family immigration matters.

Decades of Experience in Family Reunification

When you become our client, we will help you explore the best legal options and pathways based on your situation and desired outcomes, and we will inform you of the next steps and the chances of success at every stage.

Lacki & Company, LLC will file the visa application paperwork for you and represent you before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. State Department, and even your home country’s consulate.

Multilingual Immigration Support in Washington D.C.

Our firm is comprised of a diverse and multicultural staff, many of whom come from immigrant families themselves. We have a family history of pursuing the American dream in search of a better life or a better future for ourselves and our families, just like you.

We understand what you’re experiencing, and we have the legal knowledge to help. Contact our D.C. Immigration Team for a consultation at (301) 867-7784. Speak with a Washington D.C. family-based immigration attorney today.