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Family Immigration

Our family-based immigration work includes obtaining fiancé visas, spouse visas, and other family-based immigrant visas through consular processing and includes petitioning with the U.S.C.I.S. for children, parents, siblings, and spouses of U.S. citizens and spouses and children of Permanent Residents (Greencard holders). From petitioning for family-based visas and Greencards to obtaining work permits and travel permits based on such qualifying family relationships, Pender & Coward provides U.S. citizens and permanent residents and their family members step-by-step guidance as they take the exciting steps to immigrate to the U.S. to unite with their family members.

Family-Based Visas and Green Cards

Generally, family-sponsored immigrant visas can be divided into two categories—immediate relative visas that are not subjected to a visa allocation cap and other family-sponsored preference visas that are subjected to visa allocation cap numbers for a foreign state. Currently, visa demand exceeds the per-country limit for the family members from mainland China, India, Mexico, and Philippines.
The ”immediate relatives” have immigrant visas and Greencards immediately available to them, without being subjected to this visa allocation cap and without waiting until a visa becomes available to them. These “immediate relatives” include a U.S. citizen’s spouse, an unmarried child under 21 years of age, and a parent, given that the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age.

The cap-subject family-based category is divided into four (4) preferences. The first family-sponsored preference category is unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older) of U.S. citizens. The second preference category is spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older) of Greencard holders. The third preference category is married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. The fourth preference category is brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

Pender & Coward can assist you and your family members to navigate through family-based immigration to the U.S., from wherever your family members are located. We provide assistance with adjustment of status to Greencard within the U.S., as well as with obtaining immigrant visas through consular process, where a visa applicant will attend an interview at a U.S. consulate office in the applicant’s home country based on an U.S.C.I.S-approved family petition.

Fiancé and Marriage Visas

We provide assistance to U.S. citizens seeking to sponsor their fiances and spouses from overseas and to Greencard holders seeking to sponsor their spouses for family-based immigration to the U.S. In relation, we provide legal advice as to the similarly and difference between a fiancé visa and a marriage visa to provide our clients with the necessary legal background to navigate through this exciting journey in their lives with reduced stress and worry.

Work Permit and Travel Permit

Upon obtaining the Greencard in the U.S. (whether through adjustment of status inside the U.S. or by entering the U.S. on an immigrant visa), the family member enjoys the privilege to legally work in the U.S., and to return to the U.S. from foreign travels. For adjustment of status applicants already inside the U.S., it is typical for work permit and travel permit applications to be approved, pending the actual issuance of a Greencard. Our attorneys can help you assess your situation, as well as the current U.S.C.I.S. processing times to help you and your family members navigate through U.S. immigration law.

What are the legal considerations for family-based visas and green cards, and how can I obtain them for my family members?

First, we will look into your immigration status to verify your U.S. citizen or Greencard status. Second, we will look into your family relationship with those family members that you are seeking to sponsor for family-based immigration visas. Lastly, we will examine which family-based immigration category is suitable and examine the processing time and any visa waiting time based on which country your family member is from and the type of family member relationship (immediate relatives or first/second/third/fourth family-based preference categories).

What are the legal and financial considerations for fiancé and marriage visas, and how can I qualify for them?

While fiancé and spouse visas both require the petitioner to provide documentary evidence to prove the existing relationship and to show that the fiancé/spouse beneficiaries have adequate means of financial support and that they are not likely to rely on the U.S. government for financial support, these visas also have striking differences. For example, fiancé visas require that the couple physically met within the two (2) years preceding the petition filing, unless one can meet very narrow exceptions. Also, compared to a spouse visa, which grants a Greencard upon entry to the U.S., the fiancé visa is one-time nonimmigrant visa which requires the fiancé to apply for adjustment of status to Greencard within the U.S. upon getting married to the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entering the U.S.

How can I obtain Work Permit and Travel Permit through fiancé and marriage visas?

When a spouse enters the U.S. through an immigrant spouse visa, then the spouse is considered a permanent resident of the U.S. A permanent resident does not need to have a separate work/travel permit card to legally work in the U.S. or travel overseas. Therefore, spouse visa holders are able to immediately obtain social security numbers to obtain employment and to travel overseas upon their entry to the U.S. In contrast, fiancé visas will need to first obtain a work permit and a travel permit before they can obtain employment or travel overseas through a separate U.S.C.I.S. application process within the U.S.

Immigrating to the U.S. to reunify with one’s dear family members is a privilege and one of the most exciting events in one’s lifetime. Pender & Coward immigration attorneys will stand beside you and your family members to help you navigate through this exciting journey. In addition to helping family members to adjust their status within the U.S. from different visa status to Greencard status, we represent clients from all over the world through their consular process to obtain family-based immigration visas.