Family-based Immigration

Parents Petitioning for Children

U.S. Citizen parents are eligible to petition for their children (must be under 21 years old) to be considered an Immediate relative. If the child is over 21 years then not considered an immediate relative (either 1st preference category or 3rd preference category depends on whether married); will need to wait for a visa number to become current in order to adjust status.

U.S. citizen step-parent can petition for their minor step-child, provided the step-child was under 18 years old when step-relationship was created.

Children Petitioning for their Parent

U.S. citizen son/daughter must be 21 years or older before they are eligible to petition for their parents.

Once the U.S. citizen son/daughter is 21 years or older, their parent is considered an immediate relative. If you are deemed to be an immediate relative then you do not need to wait until your visa number becomes current in order to adjust your status, you can adjust your status immediately.

If parents are residing inside the United States, then you can file the application to register permanent residence or adjust status, without parents departing the United States (caveat: you must have been inspected and admitted to the U.S. when you entered to adjust status inside the U.S.).

If parents are outside the United States, then once the Petition for Alien Relative is approved inside the U.S. the parent will consular process at the U.S. consulate where they reside.

Permanent Residents Petitioning for Spouse and Unmarried Children

If you are an LPR you can only petition for your spouse and unmarried children or son/daughter.

However the spouse/child will not be deemed to be an immediate relative, and thus must wait for a visa number to become current before being able to adjust their status – there is a wait period of approximately three years). A Lawful Permanent Resident can petition for their unmarried son/daughter (21 years or older). They must also wait for their visa number to become current before being able to adjust their status; there is a wait period of approximately of eight years.

Siblings of U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens can petition for their siblings (4th Preference Category), however they will not be deemed to be an immediate relative, and thus must wait for a visa number to become current before being able to adjust their status.

All cases should be thoroughly evaluated as to whether your individual case will qualify for adjustment of status or consular processing.

Affidavit of Support

The affidavit of support form is a legally enforceable contract against sponsor, therefore the sponsored immigrant can sue the sponsor to enforce maintenance agreement
After adjustment of status or admission to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, the sponsored immigrant can require sponsor to maintain him/her at “annual income that is not less than 125% of federal poverty line” (U.S. armed forces sponsor maintain at “annual income that is not less than 100% of federal poverty line”).

A Joint Sponsor in the process providing they are at least 18 years old and either a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

Examples of when this contract between the sponsor and sponsored immigrant can be terminated (call our law office for a further discussion on termination):

  • Death of the sponsored immigrant
  • Removal from the U.S. of the sponsored immigrant
  • Sponsored immigrant becoming a U.S. Citizen

Those with further questions are welcome to consult with an attorney at Barbarin Law Group to obtain advice on this important document.

Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

  • Removal of conditions on residence is based on either adjusting or being admitted to the U.S. when married for less than 2 years.
  • Must remove the condition within 90 days of the 2nd year anniversary, or it will be terminated.
  • The removal of the conditions on your residence can either be done jointly (with the petitioner) or self-petitioned (Our law office will advise you on when you are permitted to self-petition).
  • Ask Attorney Isabel Barbarin how you can travel outside the U.S. before removal of the conditions on your residence.

Those with further questions are welcome to consult with an attorney at Barbarin Law Group to obtain advice on this important process.

Work or Employment Authorization (EAD)

  • In order to work in the United States, based on the EAD, there must be a current, valid, and approved EAD. It is not sufficient to have an EAD request pending or filed with the USCIS.
  • An individual possessing a valid EAD can work for any U.S. employer.
  • The EAD may be renewed by filing with USCIS. This must be accompanied by the applicable filing fee, and supporting documents.
  • If the EAD expires, an individual can apply for an EAD renewal, as long as the basis for the EAD still exists.
  • If an EAD is denied, the applicant is notified in writing of the decision and the reasons for the denial. There is no appeal of the denial; however, the applicant may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider, if there is a basis for such a request. Otherwise, it may be possible to refile the EAD.

Those with further questions are welcome to consult with an attorney at Barbarin Law Group to obtain advice on this important document.