Family Based Immigration

Family Immigration Lawyer Los Angeles San Fernando Valley Green Card Lawyer

Immigration through a Family Member (Citizen or Permanent Resident)

Spouses, Children, Parents, Relatives Seeking Permanent Residence Immigrating To US

Overview and Process

The information below is general in nature and intened only to give the reader an overiew. There may be additional options avaliable to a given individual depepdning on his or her particular circumstances. You can receive a Free Consultation with Mr. Pecchia  personally – an Immigration lawyer Los Angeles San Fernando Valley Greencard Attorney to discuss your particular situation and options.


See Mr. Pecchia’s informative blog article about Fiance'(e) and Marriage Visa’s in plain English:  Fiance'(e) and Married Couples’ Greencards


A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States, or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process.

The US Citizenship & Immigration Service (formerly INS) must approve an immigrant visa petition, the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, for you. This petition is filed by your relative (sponsor) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative.  The Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, the foreign national, even if you are already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to you. You can check the status of a visa number in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.

If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status (called Adjustment of Status) to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available to you. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you must then go to the U.S. consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing.


In order for a relative to sponsor you to immigrate to the United States, they must meet the following criteria:

They must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and be able to provide documentation providing that status.

They must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line, by filling out an Affidavit of Support

The relatives which may be sponsored as an immigrant vary depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S:

Husband or wife

Unmarried child under 21 years of age

Unmarried son or daughter over 21

Married son or daughter of any age

Brother or sister, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old or

Parent, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old.

If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S.:

Husband or wife or

Unmarried son or daughter of any age.

In any case, the sponsor must be able to provide proof of the relationship.

Preference Categories

If you wish to immigrate as a relative of a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must obtain an immigrant visa number based on the preference category in which you fall.  A visa number is usually assigned when a Petition  is filed on behalf of the Alien.

People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by USCIS. An immigrant visa number will become immediately available for them. The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:

First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.

Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.

Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens.

Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens.

Once USCIS receives your visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative), it will be approved or denied. USCIS notifies the person who filed the visa petition of the petition approval or denial. USCIS will then send the approved visa petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is current. The Center will notify the foreign national when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is available. You do not need to contact the National Visa Center, unless you change your address or there is a change in your personal situation, or that of your sponsor, that may affect eligibility for an immigrant visa, such as reaching age 21, marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse.

Speak with Family Immigration lawyer Mr. Pecchia personally.  He offers LOW PRICES, a FREE CONSULTATION (818) 963-8238, and Experienced, Quality Representation, and is Los Angeles San Fernando Valley based.


Information provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. Individuals should speak with an attorney knowledgeable in such matters concerning their particular situation. Also see Legal Disclaimer section of this site.

Serving the California cities, including, but not limited to: Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Reseda, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Studio City, Panorama City, Northridge, Tarzana, Canoga Park, Simi Valley, Van Nuys, Sylmar, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, North Hollywood, Hollywood, Pacoima, North Hills, Sun Valley, Lake View Terrace, Bell, Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, El Monte, El Segundo, Gardena, Glendora, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Huntington Park, City of Industry, La Canada Flintridge, Lawndale, Lomita, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Monrovia, Montebello, Palmdale, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Fernando, San Marino, Santa Clarita, South Pasadena, Pasadena, Pico Riviera, as well as those throughout California, the United States, and the world.