Family Based Petitions

An Approved Family sponsored Immigrant visa petition is a basic requirement of the United States Immigration Laws to qualify for green card Adjustment of status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States.

The beneficiary of such family sponsored Immigrant Visa Petition must be eligible for the Immigration classification sought.

A beneficiary will be eligible for a family sponsored Immigrant visa petition based on being

  1. A Spouse of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent resident alien.
  2. Child/children of a United state Citizen or Lawful Permanent resident alien.
  3. A Parent of a United States Citizen.
  4. A Sibling (brother / sister) of United States Citizen.

The various categories or classification that a beneficiary of a family Petition may fall into are:

  • Immediate relatives- This category is for the Spouse, Minor Child under 21 years and parents of a United State Citizen.
  • First preference Category-This category is for the unmarried sons and daughters of United States citizens who are above 21 years of age.
  • Second preference Category-This category is for the spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens-Green Card Holders.
  • Third preference Category-This category is for the married sons and daughters of United States Citizens.
  • Fourth preference Category- This category is for the brothers and sisters of United States citizens.

A family based Immigrant Visa Petition is filed with USCIS using Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The application is filed by a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States on behalf of an alien relative beneficiary to establish eligibility for the immediate relative Category or preference Categories.

Beneficiaries belonging to a Preference Categories need to have a current priority date in order for their application for Lawful Permanent Resident Status to move forward either through an Immigrant visaissuance if outside the United states or through Adjustment of Status if present in the United States.

The Priority date is generally established when the Alien Relative Petition Form I-130 is properly filed and accepted by United states Citizenship and Immigration services. (USCIS). The priority date is the date which establishes the preference beneficiary alien’s place on a waiting list for a visa number. The Waiting List for Visa numbers is maintained by the Department of State for issuance of an immigrant visa numbers. The Department of States publishes a monthly Visa bulletin that helps applicants/beneficiaries determine when their Priority date is current for the issuance of a Visa number.

Withdrawal of Immigrant Visa Petition.

A petitioner may withdraw a family based Immigrant Visa petition prior to adjudication. A withdrawal by a petitioner is not necessarily an indication of fraud, the facts surrounding any prior withdrawal will be considered in the event a subsequent petition is filed by the same petitioner.

Revocation of Immigrant Visa Petition.

A Family based Visa Petitions, may be revoked:

  1. If the petitioner withdraws the petition,
  2. If the petitioner or beneficiary dies,
  3. Upon legal termination of the marriage upon which the petition was based,
  4. Upon the marriage of a second preference unmarried son or daughter of a lawful permanent resident alien or
  5. Upon the termination of lawful permanent resident status of the petitioner (unless he or she becomes a U.S. citizen).

There are other provisions of the immigration Laws which allows for conversion to a different Visa classification. In the case of the death of the petitioner, USCIS may choose not to revoke the petition for humanitarian reasons.

The Department of State may also terminate the registration of any alien who does not apply for an immigrant visa within one year of being notified of the availability of the visa. This provision is found in Section 203(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

When an approved Visa Petition has been used to Adjust Status in the United States or to get an Immigrant Visa at the Consular post or Embassy,it no longer exists and the approval cannot be revoked. The appropriate course of action in such a case will be to institute deportation or rescission proceedings.