Attorney For Immigration Helps Bring Loved Ones To The U.S.

By Published On: May 1, 2024Categories: Blog, Immigration

Do you find yourself entangled in the complexities of bringing your loved ones to the United States? An attorney for immigration plays a crucial role in fostering familial ties across borders. They guide you through the legal intricacies of obtaining permanent residency or a Green Card for eligible family members.

If you want to sponsor a loved one but don’t want to deal with the complexities of immigration law alone, you’ve found the right place. Delve into the nuances of family-based immigrant Visas, their types, and intricacies. Also, understand your responsibilities as a sponsor in facilitating a successful petition.

Learn How An Attorney For Immigration Facilitates Bringing Your Loved Ones To The U.S.

Role Of An Attorney For Immigration In Family Reunification

When navigating immigration law, seeking guidance from a legal ally such as an immigration lawyer makes all the difference. These legal professionals ensure accurate compliance with all the steps involved in the petition process.

Lawyers who focus on family reunifications can diligently assess your eligibility to sponsor a relative. They provide valuable insights and honest advice regarding potential hurdles to achieving a higher success rate in any family-based immigration.

A qualified and experienced attorney can provide superb assistance every step of the way. Entrusting your case to them can help ease a significant portion of the burden and stress linked with the legal system. They are dedicated to helping you understand family-based immigration so you can concentrate better on reuniting with your loved ones in the United States.

Understanding Family-Based Immigrant Visas

Family-based immigration is facilitated through the immigrant Visa (IV) process, where foreign nationals can apply for permanent residency in the United States. To qualify, they need a sponsor relative over 21  who is a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder. Under immigration law, two distinct categories of family-based immigrant Visas exist: Immediate Relative and Family Preference.

Immediate Relative (IR)

The IR Visa category is granted to individuals with strong familial connections to U.S. citizens. The eligible relationships include spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of adult U.S. citizens. This category does not have numerical limits on the number of Visas issued each fiscal year. Thus, the application process is moderately faster, making it easier for families to be together.

Family Preference

This category offers foreign nationals who are family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) the opportunity to obtain a Green Card through specific family ties. Eligible relationships include siblings and married or 21 years or older unmarried children of U.S. citizens. As for LPRs, their spouses and unmarried children (21 years old or above) are qualified. Each of these falls under specific Visa categories.

Unlike immediate relative Visas, the number of immigrants in the family preference category is limited each fiscal year. This numerical limit in the quota system regulates immigration flow and leads to larger waiting periods.

Mastering the nuances of family petition categories and requirements gives you an edge. Armed with this knowledge, you can succeed in helping your loved ones move to the United States.

The Roadmap To A Successful Petition

The Green Card application is a rigid process that must be taken seriously. There are certain steps to take, documents to collect, and an unpredictable timeframe to deal with. For someone new to the U.S. immigration scene, this can be too much to handle. To feel empowered on your immigration journey, familiarize yourself with the general steps in petitioning a loved one to the United States.

Step 1: Submit Form I-130

Submitting Form I-130 to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the crucial first step in sponsoring a relative. Also referred to as Petition for Alien Relative, the form establishes the relationship between you and your beneficiary or the family member you’re sponsoring.

Step 2: Wait For Petition Approval

Once the form is submitted, you’ll have to wait patiently for the petition to be approved. Remember that an approved Form I-130 petition doesn’t ensure Visa issuance but indicates clearance to proceed with the next immigration steps. If the petition is accepted, it will be the basis for your relative’s application for an immigrant Visa at a Consulate or U.S. Embassy in their home country.

Step 3: Apply For Immigrant Visa

The approved petition is then forwarded to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. Your loved one must complete Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, online and submit civil documents, police clearances, and medical examination reports when required. NVC processes the application and forwards it to the relevant U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the next steps.

Step 4: Attend Immigrant Visa Interview

Your relative must attend an interview at the Consulate or U.S. Embassy in their home country. A consular officer will verify the beneficiary’s eligibility for an immigrant Visa. They will review your relative’s documentation and ask questions about their background and intentions in the United States.

Step 5: Receive Immigrant Visa

When your family member abroad is granted the status, they will receive a sealed envelope or a Visa packet containing important documents and information. The beneficiary must not open this envelope, as only a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer can open it at a port of entry into the United States. Opening the packet outside the designated inspection process could invalidate or revoke the Visa.

Step 6: Enter The United States

Your beneficiary must travel to the United States within the validity period of the immigrant Visa, typically within six months of the Visa issuance date. Upon arrival, they will undergo immigration inspection at a port of entry and present the Visa packet to the U.S. CBP official.

If the officer approves the beneficiary for entry, they become lawful permanent residents. However, they will wait a few weeks to receive their Green Card via mail at the address provided during the immigrant Visa application. This document confirms their status as lawful permanent residents and grants them the right to live and work permanently in the United States.

Following these steps can significantly improve the likelihood of a successful petition. In addition to knowing the key procedures involved in a smooth immigration process, you must also be well-informed about your role as a sponsor.

Your Role As A Sponsor In Family Petitions

The USCIS outlines the sponsor’s pivotal role in family-based petitions. You are responsible for providing financial and legal support to your immigrating family member throughout the process.

Eligibility & Financial Support

To qualify as a sponsor, you must meet specific eligibility criteria set forth by USCIS. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old, and living in the United States.

Sponsoring is a big commitment, so you need to show you can financially support the intending immigrants by meeting specific income requirements. This is typically evidenced by filing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, in which you pledge to provide financial assistance to your family member.

Responsibilities & Liabilities

Signing Form I-864 means accepting several responsibilities and liabilities. You must provide financial support to your relative at a level that does not require them to seek public assistance. This obligation remains in effect until certain conditions are met. You are liable for the sponsored individual until they become U.S. citizens, accumulate 40 quarters of work (equivalent to 10 years), leave the United States permanently, or die.

Failure to fulfill this obligation may result in legal consequences, which involve potential lawsuits to recover any means-tested public benefits the family member receives. You must ensure to notify USCIS of any major shifts in your circumstances. This includes changes in address, employment status, or marital status that may affect your ability to fulfill your obligations as a sponsor.

With so much at stake in the entire immigration process, the best option is to seek legal counsel. Achieving immigration goals with the assistance of an established legal partner is essential to any family petition.

Achieve Your Immigration Goals With Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

Find Out More About How An Attorney For Immigration Can Legally Help Your Family

Dealing with the complexities of family-based immigration can be taxing. With an attorney from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, you can alleviate much of the stress. This established law firm provides a personalized approach to reconnecting you and your loved ones abroad. Their experienced lawyers focus on family unity and work diligently to facilitate reunifications and secure permanent residencies.

Success is on the horizon when you entrust your immigration matters to the capable hands of family immigration attorneys. The legal professionals from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law work tirelessly to handle the intricacies on your behalf. With their guidance, you can feel confident navigating immigration, knowing you have someone committed to your interests.


Family-based immigration is an excellent way to reunite with loved ones. If they meet the eligibility criteria for these categories, you can file a petition and bring them to the United States. The entire process involves key steps that, when followed, increase the chances of achieving favorable outcomes.

Throughout this journey, immigration attorneys help you deal with the complex process of immigration law. Top-notch legal partners such as Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can guide you toward achieving your immigration goals.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as green cards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job.

Share this story!

Contact a U.S. Immigration Attorney Today!

    How To Find Us

    Austin Office
    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1005 E 40th St
    Austin, TX 78751

    Waco Office

    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1616 Austin Avenue, Suite A
    Waco, TX 76701
    By Appointment Only

    Austin & Waco
    Call or Text: (855) 502-0555
    Fax: (512) 323-9351

    What Our Clients Say

    “This Lawfirm is great, very professional and helpful. I love that they are always in communication and always available for when you have questions . 100% recommended by me and my family. Thank you Lincoln-Goldfinch Law”