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Marilyn Orbach-Rosenberg
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Family-Based Immigration Benefits Attorney in New York City and Queens

Immigration often separates family members across the oceans and thousands of miles. Thankfully, U.S. immigration policy recognizes the need and desirability for uniting and reuniting families and makes provisions for immigration based on family relationships. Orbach Rosenberg Law provides help from a New York City immigration attorney to assist U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents bring over their spouses, children, parents and other family members through the appropriate family-based immigrant visa process.

Process for Family-Based Immigration

A family member overseas must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in America. In some cases, U.S. immigration policy places restrictions on how many family members may immigrate in a given year. There are no restrictions on the number of immediate relatives who may be brought over, however. Immediate relatives are defined as spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21 years old. Orphans who are adopted abroad or who are going to be adopted in the U.S. also qualify as immediate relatives for purposes of unrestricted immigration.

A limited number of visas are also issued each year for other relatives, depending upon the family relationship and the citizenship status of the sponsor. Family members eligible for immigration include relatives in the following family preference categories:

  • Unmarried adult children of citizens, along with their minor children
  • Spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents
  • Unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents
  • Married children of citizens, along with their spouses and minor children
  • Siblings of adult citizens, along with their spouses and minor children

The total number of visas available in 2014 across all of these categories is only 226,000. Whether a visa may be available for your family member(s) depends upon which category they are in, how many visas are left, and how many have been assigned to your family’s home country.

Can I bring over my future spouse if we are engaged but not yet married?

Yes, but you will need to follow the process for applying for a fiancé(e) visa. See our page on fiancé(e) visas for more information. Like a K-3 marriage visa, a K-1 fiancé(e) visa is a nonimmigrant visa, meaning the stay is only temporary, but the visa holder can apply for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence and a Green Card by following the appropriate procedures.

What if I came into the country as a refugee or asylum seeker?

If you were granted refugee status or asylum in the U.S., then you may be able to bring over your spouse and minor children under a derivative petition for asylum. Our office helps people obtain asylum status for themselves and their immediate family.

Get Help with Your Family Immigration Needs from a Caring and Capable New York City Immigration Attorney

New York City immigration attorney Marilyn Orbach Rosenberg is herself a former immigrant who understands the importance of reuniting citizens and Green Card holders with their families abroad. In New York, contact Orbach Rosenberg Law for advice and representation on all your family immigration needs.

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