Schifanelli Law, LLP

Integrity, Dedication

& Competence

Contact US  (410) 263-0028

How We Can Help

The Maryland immigration attorneys at Schifanelli Law, LLP in Annapolis have extensive experience helping U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents file immigrant petitions for their immediate family members, including husbands and wives, minor and adult children, step children, and others.  The immigration process is quite different depending on whether your family member is already in the U.S. or still resides overseas.  Furthermore, if your family member has an "immigration history" in the U.S., or has certain criminal convictions, then you will want to talk to an experienced immigration lawyer first.

Contact Schifanelli Law, LLP at 410-263-0028 for an initial consultation with a Lawyer in Annapolis.
2450 Riva Road, Suite 201, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. 

FILING AN IMMIGRANT PETITION FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER CAN BE COMPLICATED IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE IMMIGRATION LAWS AND REGULATIONS. WE CAN HELP TO MAKE YOUR FILING GO AS SMOOTH AS POSSIBLE.

Family Sponsored Immigration Facts

​Integrity, Dedication & Competence

Family Sponsored Immigration

Annual Quota Exemptions

Congress specifically exempted some categories of family members from the annual immigrant quotas.  Exempted from the annual immigrant quotas are spouses, minor children and parents of U.S. Citizens. Their cases are processed as soon as the underlying visa petition is approved. If they are here in the U.S. already on another visa, then your relative may apply for adjustment of status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident.  If they are overseas, they may begin the immigration visa process at the nearest U.S. Consulate.


Denial of Your Spousal Visa Petition

Note that marriage to the person of your choice is recognized as a fundamental right; but having your wife or husband get an immigration visa or become a U.S. lawful permanent resident is not.  Some factors that will raise red flags are:


  • He or she entered the U.S. without a visa (i.e., an "illegal alien"), or they were previously deported.
  • He or she has a criminal conviction for a serious crime, including drug trafficking or drug possession of more than 30 grams of maryjane.
  • The U.S. government does not believe that you and your spouse got married just to get a green card (a "sham marriage").


If any of these cause you concern, contact an immigration attorney at Schifanelli Law, LLP at 410-263-0028.


There are several paths to lawful immigration to the U.S.  These include family sponsored immigration, employer sponsored immigration, and several other narrower paths (e.g. asylum/refugee status or winning the "visa diversity lottery"). Family and employer based immigration is by far the most common method.


Eligible Family Members

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may petition for immediate family members to immigrate. For example, a U.S. citizen may petition for her parents, her spouse, her siblings, her minor children, or children over the age of 21. If an adult child is married, then her child's spouse and children may acquire derivative status and immigrate at the time of the adult child.  A Lawful Permanent Resident. ("LPR") may petition for his spouse, his minor children, and adult unmarried children.  For info on Fiancee Visas, click here.


Annual Quotas

Not everyone will be able to go to the nearest U.S. consulate and pick up their visa immediately. Different categories of family immigrants are subject to annual quotas set by Congress. Your family member may need to "take a number" and wait until his or her immigrant visa becomes available. To determine when your family member may immigrate, review the Department of State "Visa Bulletin." The Bulletin tracks visa availability times by "priority date" - the date that USCIS receives the immigrant petition.   


I Received a Request for Initial Evidence or Intent to Deny.


My Family Member is in Deportation and Removal.