Are You Seeking a Visa for a Family Member?

San Diego, CA, Immigration Law
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If you are seeking a lawyer’s help with obtaining a family visa in U.S., we can assist you with the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and more.


Family Visa Eligibility & FAQs

Family-based immigrants fall under one of two major categories, immediate relatives or family preference:

  • An immediate relative is either a spouse, parent or unmarried child of a U.S. Citizen under the age of 21
  • Family preferences are all other qualified relationships

In order for your qualifying family member to become a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States, you must file for an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on their behalf. With this application, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will need to establish the qualifying family relationship.

I-130 Filing: What Happens Next

Once the I-130 is approved and a visa number is available, your family member may apply for a green card. The next steps depend on whether the family member is in the United States or abroad.

If in the U.S. on a temporary status (student, visitor, etc.), an adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident should be possible. If the family member is abroad, you will need to go through the U.S. Embassy or Consular Office in the foreign country of your residence.


Family Visa Preference System

Family-based immigrant visas are divided into preference systems and priority dates. This refers to one of the various categories under which an individual qualifies for U.S. residency and must wait for a visa to become available.

  • 1st Preference: unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. This category refers to the adult children of U.S. citizens or those who have reached the age of 21 years prior to the issuance of the immigrant visa
  • 2nd Preference: a) spouses and children under the age of 21 of U.S. permanent residents; b) unmarried sons and daughters over the age of 21 of U. S. permanent residents
  • 3rd Preference: married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • 4th Preference: brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens
Priority dates & Backlog

While there is an unlimited visa number available for immediate relatives, the family preference category is subject to a backlog. When subject to backlog, your turn in line is determined by the priority date on your I-130 application.

The U.S. Department of State publishes a monthly visa bulletin that family preference immigrants can review to see when they have reached their turn in line. The waiting time ranges from a few months to several years. When your priority date becomes current, a visa will become available to you.

Questions? Contact our immigration attorneys using the form below.

Contact Our Immigration Lawyers

At Gallagher Krich, APC, we can assist you with I-130 Immigration Petition, I-485 Adjustment of Status Application, K-1 fiancé visa/Green Card, and many more. Please the form below for your inquiry or email us at “immigration [at]“.

We seek the best possible results for you & your family.

Once you reach us, we will take a close look at your specific green card situation and can help to identify your rights and legal options.

Please contact us online or via email for further information and assistance!

Our Team Has 30+ Years of Combined Experience

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Our lawyers are ready to help. Contact us today with your questions.

(858) 926-5797

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3033 5th Ave., Suite 222

San Diego, CA 92103