Family Based

Family-Based Immigration

Traveling to the United States and receiving legal status as an immigrant living within the United States is the goal of many. Pursuing immigration based on the legal status of a family member already living within the country is both sensible and incredibly common. At the office of the Illinois Immigration Law Group, our Chicago-area immigration lawyers can provide you with assistance and guidance as you navigate the process of family-based immigration. Please call our law firm today for a consultation and more information.

Family-based Immigrant Visas

For those who are hoping to live permanently within the United States but do not have U.S. citizenship, an immigrant visa is required. One of the most common and effective ways to obtain an immigrant visa is sponsorship by a family member who has legal status in the United States as the holder of a green card or as a U.S. citizen. There are two types of family-based immigrant visas that are awarded to foreign citizens:

  • Immediate relative visas: An immediate relative visa is exactly that: a visa for an immediate relative, such as a green card holder’s or U.S. citizen’s spouse, child, or parent. There is no limit on the number of immediate relative visas that are granted by the United States each year.
  • Family preference visas: The other type of visa available is a family preference visa, and the number of these types of visas available is limited. Family preference visas can be used to sponsor legal immigration for more distant, non-immediate family members. Note that only U.S. citizens can file an immigration petition for non-immediate relatives, including siblings and fiances. Green card holders can only file an immigration petition for children (who are unmarried) and spouses.

In addition to family-based immigration visas for those who are lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens, refugees who have been admitted as refugees or who have been granted asylum status within the past two years may also file petitions for eligible family members (spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age).

Assistance with Your Family-based Immigration Petition

Filing a petition for a family member who is living outside of the United States is incredibly complex. You must establish the family relationship between yourself and the person on whose behalf you are filing the petition and, once your petition is filed, there may be a very long waiting process. It is not uncommon for a visa petition to be denied based on missing information or errors in the petition. Once the petition has been approved, the immigrant themselves must submit an application for permanent residence and embark on the immigrant visa/green card process, which includes an interview. The entire process can take months or years, and the smallest of errors can result in long delays. At the office of the Illinois Immigration Law Group, our immigration lawyers can provide assistance and representation throughout the entire process, helping you to avoid costly errors and improve your chances of approval.

Call Us Today

For assistance with a family-based immigration petition or questions about family-based immigration, please call our Illinois immigration lawyers directly at (847) 495-2223 or send us a message to schedule a consultation. We care about our clients and will work hard for you.


The Illinois Immigration Law Group

    1990 E. Algonquin Rd., Suite 180 Schaumburg, IL 60173
    (847) 495-2223