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Family-Based

Family-Based Immigration

Table of Contents

Family-based immigration stands as a cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy, championing a compassionate and family reunification-focused pathway that empowers U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to sponsor specific family members for immigration to the United States. This pivotal immigration channel underscores the profound significance of familial bonds, enabling loved ones to unite, extend support, and embark on fresh chapters of life side by side.


The Nature of Family-Based Immigration

Family-based immigration represents a fundamental pillar of U.S. immigration policy. This profound immigration pathway places family reunification and togetherness at its core, enabling families to unite, extend support, and embark on new life chapters side by side.

Who Qualifies for Family-Based Immigration?

U.S. citizens wield the power to sponsor immediate family members, encompassing spouses, unmarried children under 21, parents, and siblings. Lawful permanent residents also have the ability to sponsor certain family members, primarily spouses and unmarried children.

Diverse Family Immigration Visa Categories

Family-based immigration boasts a diverse array of visa categories, catering to various family relationships, including:

  • Immediate Relative (IR) Visas: Tailored for spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens.
  • Family Preference Visas: Designed for unmarried adult children, married children, and siblings of U.S. citizens, along with spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents.

Required Forms for Family-Based Immigration

At the heart of family-based immigration lies Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative, serving as the primary form required. U.S. citizens and green card holders must submit this form to establish their qualifying relationship with the family member they intend to sponsor. Depending on the family member’s location and immigration status, additional forms such as Form I-485 for Adjustment of Status or Form DS-260 for Consular Processing may also be necessary.

Ochoa & Hill Law Group in Houston, Texas, remains unwavering in its commitment to offering skilled legal counsel and guidance throughout the Family-Based Immigration journey. We possess a deep understanding of immigration law intricacies and are dedicated to reuniting families and helping them create a brighter future in the United States. For personalized advice and skilled legal support, give us a call at (713) 984-4823 or contact Ochoa & Hill Law Group in Houston, Texas.

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Frequently Asked Questions


U.S. citizens and, in some cases, green card holders can sponsor certain family members, including spouses, children, parents, and siblings.

The process involves filing a family-based immigrant petition, such as Form I-130. Once the petition is approved, the family member can apply for a green card through consular processing or adjustment of status.

Yes, there are annual numerical limits for certain family preference categories. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as spouses and children under 21, are not subject to these limits.

Processing times vary based on factors like the family relationship and the visa category. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens generally have shorter waiting times compared to preference categories.

While waiting for a green card, family members may be eligible for employment authorization and, in some cases, advance parole for travel.

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