Family Immigration

Family Immigration

Because family reunification is the dominant principle under current USA immigration system,
the most common method used to obtain lawful permanent residency is through family –
sponsored immigration. The process begins with filing a document with the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services, a part of the United States Department of Homeland
Security, called a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130), which is also called a visa petition.
The family member filing this document is known as the petitioner and the foreign person who
wishes to immigrate to the United States is the beneficiary.

Family Visas

Each year thousands of family members immigrate to the United States based on petitions filed
by family members. There are two groups of family based immigrant visa categories- immediate
relatives and family preference categories. The category of immediate relatives includes spouses
of citizens, children (under 21 years of age and unmarried) of citizens, and parents of citizens 21
years of age or older. All other family members who do not qualify as immediate relatives of
citizens fall into different preference categories. There are four preference categories as follows:
(a) first preference includes unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who are 21 or older);
(b) second preference is comprised of spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years) of
permanent residents (2A) and unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 or older of permanent
residents. (2B); (c) third preference includes married sons and daughter of U.S. citizens; (d) and
the fourth preference category includes brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, who are older than
21. While immediate relatives are not subject to numerical limitations and immigrant visas are
always available to them, the law sets annual numerical limitations for each family preference
category. When the number of applicants in a category exceeds the available immigrant visas for

this category, there will be an immigration wait. Then, the available immigrant visas will be
issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed. Thus, the date on which the
petition was filed, also called the “priority date”, will determine when the applicant will be
issued an immigrant visa. Check the Visa Bulletin for the current priority dates. Beneficiary of
an approved visa petition can apply for a green card either through consular processing overseas
at the U.S. embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over the residence of the beneficiary or, if
the beneficiary is already in the United States and meet all requirements, by filing an Application
to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (Form I-485). Contact Law Offices of Paul
Marinov to discuss how we can help you in any area of family-based immigration.

Fiancé Visa

U.S. citizens who wish to bring their fiancées to the United States to get married can do that by
filing a Petition for Alien Fiancée (Form I-129F) with USCIS. Upon approval of the fiancée
petition, the process is finalized at a U.S. embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over the
residence of the fiancée. Upon issuance of the fiancée visa, the fiancée can enter the United
States for 90 days in which period the marriage ceremony must take place. After getting married,
the fiancée can file an application for adjustment of status to apply for permanent residence and
remain in the United States while the application for a green card is processed. If the fiancée has
children who are under the age of 21 and unmarried, they may be included on the petition and
they will receive K-2 status allowing them to enter the United States with their parent. Contact
Law Offices of Paul Marinov to discuss how we can assist you in your brining your fiancé to the
United States.

Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

The final step in the process of obtaining a green card is filing for Adjustment of Status if the applicant is located in the United States, or finalizing the immigrant visa procedure at an American Consulate in the respective country. Contact our office to determine if you are eligible for Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing. 

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Waivers of Grounds Of Inadmisibility

There may be times when an applicant for adjustment of status in the United
States or for an immigrant visa overseas will be found “inadmissible”. Although
there are numerous grounds of inadmissibility the most common include prior
unlawful presence accumulated by the foreign national, criminal convictions of
certain crimes, violations of U.S. immigration law, and engaging in fraud or
misrepresentation by the foreign national in order to acquire admission to the
United States. An applicant deemed inadmissible nevertheless may be eligible
for a waiver so that his or her application for adjustment of status, an immigrant
visa or other immigration benefit is granted. Generally, the availability of a waiver
depends on the qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent
Resident and the success of a waiver application depends on the demonstrated
hardship to that qualifying relative(s) should the foreign national is denied the
applied for immigration benefit. Among the factors that are considered when
applying for a waiver are the family ties in the United States and abroad; length
of residence in the United States, condition of health, condition in the country to
which the alien is returnable (economic and political), financial status. Attorney
Marinov has successfully represented clients in wide variety of waiver cases
before USCIS and Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”).

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