Family-Based Immigration

As a lawful resident alien or United States citizen you may be able to petition for an immigrant visa for specified family members. Lawful resident aliens may petition their spouse and unmarried children. United States citizens, over the age of 21, who acquired their status via birth or naturalization may petition their spouse, parents, children and their siblings.

Although the type of petitions that may be filed are defined, the waiting times vary. United States citizens, over the age of 21, that file petitions for a spouse, parent or unmarried child under the age of 21, have a visa immediately available and may start the process immediately.  Lawful resident aliens petitioning for a spouse or unmarried child and United States citizens petitioning for siblings, adult sons or daughter over the age of 21 (married or unmarried) have to wait for the availability of visa quotas that depend on the age of their visa petition and visa availability for the particular country.

What further complicates the immigration process are the types of grounds of inadmissibility that may or may not apply for each individual applicant and in which venue the applicant is eligible to apply.  Our law offices attempts to identify and navigate through the difficult immigration process in order to find the most efficient manner of immigrating you or your family member.

California Family-Based Immigration Attorneys

At the Law Offices of Cobos & Ayala, we have helped countless families reunite in the U.S. through legal means. Working with people in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside & Orange Counties & San Fernando Valley, we have helped numerous individuals like you with a range of specialized visas. Some of these include:

  • Fiancé/Fiancée Visas (K-1) – These visas can help a United States citizen get his or her future spouse into the country if engaged.  You may also include the children of your future spouse (K-2).
  • Spouse Visa (K-3) – If you are a United States citizen and you spouse is currently residing in another country while you are in the United States, he or she may be eligible for a Spouse Visa that will allow your spouse to enter the United States lawfully and apply for resident status inside the United States.  You may also include the children of your spouse if they are under the age of 21. See K-4 Visa.
  • Adjustment of Status – Individuals who have entered the United States with a visa and have not violated the terms of their visa may apply for adjustment of status in the United States if a family based visa is immediately available.  If one is a visa overstay, they are not eligible to adjust status on a quota based visas, however, they still remain eligible to adjust status only for an immediate visa category (spouse, parent, or child under the age of 21 of a United States citizen).
  • 245(i) Adjustment of Status – Individuals may apply for their immigrant visa inside the United States despite having entered the United States unlawfully or if they overstayed and violated their prior visa and are seeking a quota based visa, if they entered the United States prior to December 20, 2000 and were previously identified or included in a family or employment based immigrant petition filed on or before April 30, 2001.  If an individual entered after December 20, 2000, they may still qualify for 245(i) adjustment of status if they were previously identified or included in a family or employment based immigrant petition filed on or before January 14, 1998.
  • Consulate Processing – If your family member cannot immigrate inside the United States on account of having entered unlawfully (and not protected under Section 245(i)) or they have never previously resided unlawfully in the United States, they can obtain their immigrant visa at their countries designated U.S. consulate.
  • Stateside Provisional Waiver – If your family member is required to depart the United States in order to conclude the family based visa petition process and the applicant has previously resided in the United States in unlawful presence for six months or more, their mere departure from the United States to attend their immigrant visa interview will trigger an inadmissibility bar that could separate the family for up to 3 to 10 years.  Since April 1, 1997 and the implementation of the unlawful presence bars, individual applicants would first have to depart the United States attend their interviews, submit their waivers (based on the extreme hardship to a United States citizen or lawful resident spouse and/or United States citizen or lawful resident parents) and wait 9-12 months outside of the United States for a decision on the waiver.  If the waiver was denied they would be barred from immigrating to the United States for up to 3 to 10 years.  The Stateside Provisional Waiver, however, allows the applicant to submit the waiver inside the United States, obtain a decision while inside the United States, and if favorable, depart the United States and attend the immigrant visa interview with knowledge that the the unlawful presence inadmissibility bar is waived.

Knowledgeable Immigration Lawyers

No one will ever claim that the U.S. immigration system is easy. Far more people apply for entry to the country than will ever be allowed in, making it all the more important for you to choose a legal firm that knows the process inside and out. Our firm has helped numerous families reunite in the U.S., and we can work to do the same for you.

If you need assistance with family based immigration, please contact our firm today. We will do all that we can to reunite you with your family permanently and legally.