Family Based Immigration

Gilbert AZ Immigration Attorneys

Family-Based Immigration: Visas for Immediate Relatives

If you are a foreign national who wishes to live and work permanently in America, you may become a lawful Permanent Resident through family-based immigration.

If you are an immediate relative of a United States Citizen, your relative may file an immigration petition (Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative) on your behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Your relative (the petitioner) must be a U.S Citizen, age 21 or older, before he can file a petition on your behalf (the beneficiary).

An immediate relative is classified as a:

Spouse
Parent
Unmarried child under the age of 21

As an immediate relative, a visa number will be immediately provided to you by the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center.

Once the beneficiary receives notice from the National Visa Center when his or her visa number is assigned, then s/he will be notified to appear at a U.S. embassy or consulate in his or her native country to complete a visa processing.

Immigrant Visas and Priority Dates for Preference Category Relatives

Although visas for immediate relatives are unlimited, all non-immediate relatives fall under USCIS “Preference Categories.” The amount of immigrant visa numbers available to non-immediate relatives is subject to U.S. immigration quotas. Extended family members may have to wait many years to obtain an immigrant visa.

During the immigration visa process, the date your family immigration petition was filed is called the “priority date.” Your relative becomes eligible for a visa if his or her priority date falls on or before the date listed in the visa bulletin, which is published monthly by the U.S. Department of State.

Preference Categories:

First Preference – Adult, unmarried sons/daughters of U.S. Citizens, age 21 or older
Second Preference – 1) spouses; unmarried children under 21; 2) unmarried sons/daughters (ages 21 or over) of Lawful Permanent Residents
Third Preference – Married sons/daughters (of any age) of U.S. Citizen
Fourth Preference – Brothers/Sisters of U.S. Citizen

Visa approval can take time. At Maria Jones Law Firm, our Phoenix visa attorneys work closely with U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to streamline the process.

Call us today at 602.626.3296 to make an appointment to talk to an attorney about petitioning for a loved one to join you in the United States.


“Five years ago I got married with my husband, who is an American Citizen. My husband filed papers to fix my immigration status. In the past, immigration had detained me at the border, so I was advised to get an immigration attorney and I was recommended Maria Jones. She took my case, I honestly do not know what I would have done without her. There have been five times that they’ve wanted to deport me to Mexico and Maria Jones has always been there to defend me. With my attorney, I feel very protected and secure. From being ready to be sent to Mexico, she took me out. She appealed my deportation, and it was denied but Maria Jones again appealed that decision and after a year of waiting for great news, MY DEPORTATION WAS CANCELLED. From this day, I sleep well, I feel free. I am super appreciative with her and her staff. Thanks to her perseverance, we won the case and now I recommend her to the entire world!!! Thank you Maria Jones.”