Immigration Law And Visa, LLP. an immigration law firm

Palo Alto, California925 386 7078

Family Immigration Law

If you are a U.S. citizen, a Green Card holder, a Refugee (admitted as refugee within the past 2 years) or an Asylee (granted asylum within the past 2 years) you may petition for relatives (or future relatives such as a fiancée or a prospective adopted child) to immigrate to the United States.

Immediate Relatives:

The INA definition of "immediate relative(s)" includes:

  1. Spouses of U.S. citizens
  2. Children (unmarried and under 21) of U.S. citizens
  3. Parents of U.S. citizens (The petitioning citizen must be 21 or older.)

For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, visas are always available, which means that your family member does not need to wait in line for a visa. The foreign national spouses of U.S. citizens applying for green cards based on marriages to U.S. citizens face enhanced scrutiny. At the stage of the adjustment of status, the spouses will be interviewed by USCIS on the bona fides of their marriage. The interview usually lasts several hours and both spouses are questioned on their relationship. The officer must be satisfied that the couple did not enter into a "sham marriage" solely for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits. The situation is the same for spouses who complete immigrant processing through consular processing, or at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. They are also required to appear for an interview with a consular officer and the requirements are the same.

Preference Categories:

Preference categories apply to family members who are not immediate relatives. The visas alloted for these categories are subject to annual numerical limits. A visa becomes available to a preference category based on the priority date (the date the Form I-130 was filed). Preference categories are grouped as follows:

  1. First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (adult means 21 or older.)
  2. Second Preference (2A): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
  3. Second Preference (2B): Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
  4. Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens
  5. Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

For current wait times, you need to refer to the U.S. Department of State "Visa Bulletin". This category takes much longer to obtain a visa. It is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney to discuss the different options that are available and develop an intermediary strategy to have these relatives in while their green card application is being processed. For an explanation of the preference system and visa bulletin, visit the following link: Visa Bulletin & Preference Categories.

Family of Refugees or Asylees:

If you entered the United States as a refugee within the past 2 years or were granted asylee status within the past 2 years, you may petition for your spouse and children (children who were unmarried and under 21 when you first applied for asylum or refugee status) to obtain derivative refugee or asylee status.

Immigration law allows the alien spouse of a U.S. citizen and his or her minor children to be admitted to the United States as nonimmigrant while they are awaiting the adjudication of a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. It also allows them to obtain employment authorization while they are waiting.

K-1 / Fiancé(e) visa:

This page provides information for U.S. citizens wishing to bring a foreign national fiancé(e) living abroad to the United States to marry (in the United States). If you plan to marry a foreign national outside the United States or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the United States, you do not need to file for a fiancé(e) visa. The U.S. citizen spouse will file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Once the K-1 nonimmigrant visa/fiancé(e) visa is issued, the fiancé(e) is allowed to enter the U.S. and the marriage ceremony must take place within 90 days. After the marriage ceremony, the U.S. citizen spouse may apply for permanent residence and the fiancée) may remain in the U.S. while USCIS processes the application. A K-2 visa is available to the children of the fiancé(e) who are under 21 and unmarried. In addition, after admission, the fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work in the U.S.

K-3 / K-4 Nonimmigrant Visa:

K-3 nonimmigrant visa is available for individuals who:

  • Are married to a U.S. citizen
  • Have a pending Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by the U.S. citizen spouse on his or her behalf.

K-4 nonimmigrant visa is available for a child who:

  • Is unmarried, under 21, and the child of a qualified K-3 nonimmigrant visa applicant.



  • Help you prepare Form I-130 and I-485, prepare the documents to be included with your application and file your application.
  • Represent you at the USCIS interview.
  • Discuss USCIS decision and discuss the different options.
  • Application for Removal of Condition after 2 years of conditional green card.
  • Naturalization/Citizenship Application and interview at USCIS.


  • Help prepare Form I-129F, I-130 and I-485.
  • Prepare you and your spouse before going to the USCIS or Embassy/Consulate interview.
  • Represent you at the USCIS interview.
  • Discuss USCIS decision and discuss the different options.
  • Application for Removal of Condition after 2 years of conditional green card.
  • Naturalization/Citizenship Application and interview at USCIS.