marc Schifanelli, Esq.
Contact US (240) 882-2402
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.
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:
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.
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.