Family Based Immigration Preferences was last modified: January 5th, 2017 by Howard Iken

Family Based Immigration Preferences

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The political climate in support of comprehensive immigration reform appears better than it has been in decades in terms of adopting a pathway to citizenship for the eleven million undocumented people living in the U.S. The recent Boston bombing has distracted President Obama from this issue to some extent and created renewed debate about whether the incident is relevant to the fate of proposed immigration reform.

 

Some in the GOP have argued that the Boston tragedy suggests that we have not sufficiently solved our legal immigration problems to pass comprehensive immigration reform while other Republicans have claimed that the new proposed legislation would reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks by bringing those who are undocumented out of the shadows. By contrast, Democrats have argued that the tragedy at the Boston Marathon has nothing to do with the debate over immigration reform. If you are currently not a permanent legal resident or citizen, you may be hoping for passage of the new legislation proposal from the so-called Gang of Eight.

 

Until we know whether comprehensive immigration reform will be enacted, we are confined to the current immigration system. Even under current law, many people can benefit from our family based immigration system so we have provided an overview of family sponsored immigration under current U.S. law.

 

If a person is the “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen, there is no cap on the volume of people that can immigrate to the U.S. if the applicant qualifies as an immediate relative, including spouses, unmarried children under age 21 and parents. While those who qualify as immediate relatives are not subject to numerical caps, other closely related family members fall into “preference” groups that are subject to significant delays in being eligible for permanent residency. The waiting period is based on the fact that each preference group has a different numerical quota for how many people within that preference group will be admitted annually. These preferences include:

 

  • First Preference Group: Single children of U.S. citizens over age 21
  • Second Preference Group: Unmarried children and spouses of a permanent resident (Those who fall in the second preference classification are eligible to apply for a green card).
  • Third Preference Group: U.S. citizens’ married children
  • Fourth Preference Group: Siblings of U.S. citizens

 

If you are the family member of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, our experienced Tampa and Port Richie immigration attorneys can answer your questions about family based immigration options as well as other alternatives. Call us today at Ayo and Iken to schedule your confidential free consultation at 1-800-469-3486 or email us.


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We hired Jennifer to help us resolve a painful divide in our family, hoping to bring long lost members together again. No matter the time zone difference from across the world Jennifer still accepted to help us on our family’s case. She was very patient with the exchanging of files back and forth over email, scanning, and faxing. Even the rates were very affordable, very decent compared to other Orlando firms. After a few months, due to her hard work we accomplished big steps in our case. We travelled half way across the world to meet her in Florida and she was so gracious and hospitable. Advocating on our behalf, she did an impeccable job consulting with a State Attorney and many other professionals. She, her staff, and her firm are heroes for our family and our entire nation. She is going to court on our behalf today, half a world away. We feel like she is part of our family, advocating for us so dedicatedly. Thousands of people all over the world followed our story on national news networks and on social media. Jennifer’s outstanding work should be lauded and sought after by families who are seeking counsel to reunite with other family members through the legal process. Thank you Jennifer, your staff, and your firm, you’ve been a blessing to our family, our clan, and our nation.

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