Austin Family Petition Immigration Lawyer
Informative. Knowledgeable. Experienced.
Family petitions through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
allows family to petition for relatives to immigrate to the United States.
At Zavala Law, PLLC, we have assisted hundreds of individuals with family
petitions from every continent, notwithstanding Antarctica. We understand
the crucial need to bring family members together. We also have a deep
familiarity with the family-based immigration process and the potential
mistakes that can be made. We know the challenges and contingencies that
can arise, how to prevent them, and address them if they occur. Our job
is to ensure that this detailed process is handled to give you the best
chance of an approval without unnecessary delays or setbacks. We will
explain everything at the outset and keep you informed and involved along the way.
Need a family-based immigration petition? Contact Zavala Law, PLLC at
(512) 488-3970 or
online. We serve all Texans and clients across America.
The Family-Based Immigration Petition
U.S. citizens, green card holders, refugees, and asylees all may sponsor
certain relatives through a family petition.
For example, a U.S. citizen can submit petitions for:
- A spouse.
- Unmarried children under the age of 21.
- Sons or daughters who are married and/or over the age of 21.
- Parents if the citizen is over the age of 21.
- Brothers or sisters if the citizen is over the age of 21.
- A fiancé(e) who resides outside the U.S. and his or her minor children.
Relatives who are considered “immediate” come first in visa
availability; that means visas will always be available to these relatives
of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives are considered spouses, minor children
(under 21), and parents. The process is begun by filing Form I-130 that
is called Petition for Alien Relative. This form demonstrates the family
relationship upon which the petition is based. In some cases this can
also be filed with an application for lawful permanent residence that
is known as Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status.
Preference categories have been established for other relatives of U.S.
citizens and for the relatives of green card holders (lawful permanent
These preferences categories include the following:
- First preference for unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens (adult is
aged 21 or older)
- Second preference (2A) for the spouses and minor children (under 21) of
green card holders
- Second preference (2B) for the unmarried adult children of green card holders
- Third preference for the married children of any age of U.S. citizens
- Fourth preference for the siblings of adult U.S. citizens
The family-based application process for current green card holders also
includes the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative as well as proof that
you are a green card holder and accompanying evidence showing the family
relationship. That evidence can include such documentation as birth certificates,
marriage certificates, or other paperwork.
Once a visa becomes available for your family member, he or she can either
go through the adjustment of status process if living within the U.S.
or the consular processing route if living outside the U.S.
Family Member of Refugees and Asylees
For those who have entered the U.S. as refugees or were granted asylee
status within the past two years, you may also petition for specific family
members to be granted similar status. Refugee or asylee family members
for whom you may petition include spouses and unmarried children under
the age of 21. Only principal refugees or asylees may petition in this
manner; that means you did not attain your refugee or asylee status through
a relative but directly on your own. You must also have continued with
a status as a refugee or asylee and the family relationship must have
existed prior to entry into the U.S. or prior to being granted asylum.
Talk to an Austin family petition immigration attorney about your case at