Family Based Residence

Petitions by U.S. citizens

A United States citizen may file petitions for the following relatives:

  • Spouse
  • Children, including Step-children, as long as the U.S. Citizen married the child’s parent before the child reached 18 years of age.
  • Parents, including Step-parents, as long as the American Citizen’s parent married the step-parent when the U.S. Citizen was still under 18 years old. U.S citizens can petition their parents after their 21st
  • Brother or Sister, at any time after the U.S. Citizen reached 21 years of age. The Beneficiary’s spouse and children under 21 years of age are also included in the petition.

Spouses of U.S. Citizens, children under 21 years of age, and parents, are considered “Immediate Relatives,” therefore there is no waiting list. Other relatives (brothers, married sons or daughters over 21) are given a “Priority Date” at the moment the petition is received by USCIS. The beneficiary will have to wait for an immigrant visa to be available.

The Visa Bulletin detailing visa availability can be seen at the following link:

Petitions by lawful permanent residents

A Legal Permanent Resident may file a petition for the following family members:

  • Husband or Wife
  • Unmarried son, daughter, or step-child. In order for a Permanent Resident to file for a step-child, he or she must have married the child’s parent before the child 18 years of age.

Relatives of a permanent resident are given a priority date the moment the petition is received by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The beneficiary will have to wait for an Immigrant Visa to be available.

The Visa Bulletin detailing visa availability can be seen at the following link:

V Visas for spouse and children (under 21 years of age) of permanent residents

The V Visa is not an immigrant visa. However, it is nonimmigrant visa created to allow families to stay together while waiting for the processing of immigrant visas based on the family petition filed by Legal Permanent Resident.

Eligibility Criteria

If you are a permanent resident (green card holder), your spouse, child (unmarried and       under 21), or the child of your spouse (your step-child) may be eligible for a V visa if:

  • You filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your family member on or before December 21, 2000. This includes children (unmarried and under 21) listed on the petition.
  • The family member has been waiting at least 3 years since you filed the Form I-130.
  • The immigrant visa is not available on an approved Form I-130 petition OR the application to adjust status is pending OR the petition for an immigrant visa is pending.

Fiance(e) Visas

An American Citizen may apply for a fiancé (e) visa for his/her fiancé (e). The       conditions to petition for a fiance(e) are:

  • Both must be legally able to get married.
  • Had to have met in person at least once in the past two years.
  • Demonstrate their intention of getting married within 90 days of entry to the United States by the fiancé (e).
  • The Petitioner cannot have any criminal history that might make him or her ineligible to petition a fiancé (e)

VAWA – Violence Against Women Act

Victims of domestic violence

Certain victims of abuse by their American spouse, parent, son or daughter or their Permanent Resident spouse, or parent might be eligible to apply for permanent residence. This process may be done without the knowledge of the abuser. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing. These are extraordinary circumstances that require special attention. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please contact South Florida immigration attorney Jorge L. Delgado for a FREE consultation.

- Contáctenos -

Se requieren campos marcados con un asterisco.

You may schedule a consultation with the immigration attorney by calling our South Florida immigration law office at (954) 927-6254 or email us at

Website design and SEO by Marketing Elements Inc.