Updated: Mar 29
The family is the fundamental link in society. Today more than ever family ties must be maintained, because in these times, the support of our loved ones is essential. For immigrants, that support is hampered given the distance with family members. If you are a citizen or resident of the United States and want to have your family living with you, please continue reading.
Family petitions are used when a resident or citizen of the United States wants to prove the family relationship between them and a family member who wants to immigrate to the United States. As we have explained on several occasions, migratory processes are long processes, which require taking different steps to reach the final objective. The family petition is the first step in many migratory processes.
Who can you petition?
Depending on whether you are a resident or a citizen, the categories of family members who may be beneficiaries of the family petition vary.
If you are a resident of the United States, you may petition your spouse, your unmarried or divorced child under the age of 21, and your unmarried or divorced child over the age of 21. If your child or spouse have children under the age of 21, they may also be included in the family petition.
Many clients wonder what the difference is between the categories of single or divorced children under the age of 21 and over. And the difference lies in the availability of the immigrant visa, which constitutes the second step after the family petition. For more information visit our website or our YouTube channel.
If you are a citizen of the United States, you could petition your spouse, your children (whether they are an adult or minor, married or unmarried) and if the American citizen petitioner is over 21 years of age, you can petition your siblings and your parents. US citizen can petition more family members than US residents.
Regarding the children and siblings of an American citizen, if any of the beneficiaries of the family petition is married, and / or has children under 21 years of age, these could be included in the family petition as well.
You will not be able to petition your adoptive child if the adoption took place after your child turned 16. Neither can the stepson or stepdaughter be petitioned if the marriage was made after they turned 18. Spouses cannot be petitioned if one of them was not present during the marriage ceremony, or if you are a resident of the United States and acquired residence by previous marriage, unless you have naturalized, five years have passed since your divorce, or your spouse has died. Finally, grandparents, nephews, in-laws or cousins may not be petitioned.
To demonstrate the relationship between the US citizen or resident with the beneficiary it will be necessary to present documentary evidence. In the case of spouses, it will be necessary to present evidence that shows that the marriage is in good faith, and not with the objective of obtaining immigration benefits. Documents submitted to USCIS do not need to be legalized or apostilled but must be translated into the English language.
The family petition is the first step in many migratory processes. If you are a resident or American citizen, consult an attorney. Only an attorney will be able to explain the different steps of an immigration process and advise you on the application of the law.
At Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. we attend immigration cases. The first consultation is free. Come and we will evaluate your case for free. At Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. your problem is our problem.
Any information made available by the lawyer or law firm is for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and general understanding of the law, NOT to provide specific advice. This does NOT create a relationship attorney-client between you and Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. This information should NOT be use as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.