Family-Based Immigration

Contact Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorneys at Kelly, Parker & Cohen today for your FREE CONSULTATION.

Family unification is a driving principle behind immigration policy. Since the Immigration and Nationality Act was enacted in 1965, immigrants have come to the United States primarily through family connections or based on their work abilities and skills. Immigration law allows United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for family-based visas. If you have a family member who would like to come to the United States, or if you are a non-citizen wanting to join your family in the U.S., there are different ways that you may petition for a green card, a fiance visa or other visa based on your familial relationship.

  • Family-based immigrants may be admitted to the United States either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through the family preference system. Immediate relative immigrant visas are obtained through close family relationships with U.S. citizens. To qualify for a family-based visa as an immediate relative of a United States citizen, you must be:
  • A spouse of that citizen (K-3);
  • An unmarried minor child (less than 21 years old) of the U.S. citizen (K-3);
  • Parents of the U.S. citizen (the child citizen must be 21 years or older to sponsor a parent);
  • An orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen; or
  • An orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen.

There are also a limited number of visas available under the family preference system. These relatives are not immediate family members, and they must meet certain age and financial requirements. The following is how the family preference system is categorized:

  • 1st preference: An unmarried adult child of a U.S. citizen;
  • 2nd Preference A: A spouse of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), and unmarried children, who are under 21 years old, of permanent residents;
  • 2nd Preference B: Unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents;
  • 3rd Preference: Married children (of any age) of U.S. citizens; or
  • 4th Preference: A brother or sister of a U.S. citizen, if that citizen is at least 21 years old.

Family-based immigrants who come to the United States make significant contributions to the U.S. economy and to local communities. They are responsible for U.S. economic growth, they contribute to the well-being of the labor force, and they play a major role in community improvement and business development. If you are in need of one or more of our family-based immigration services, contact one of the Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorneys or call (717) 208-2622 or contact us online today for your free and confidential consultation.