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Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Overturned!

Van Wormer Law offers a full range of family based immigration assistance, including assistance family-based derivative visas, marriage visas, and more. We regularly represent clients who are seeking:

  • Fiancé visas
  • Marriage green cards and visas
  • Family-based green cards and other derivative visas

Family-Based Immigrant Visas

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) can petition for their families to join them in the U.S. and subsequently qualify for a green card. There are two broad categories of individuals who may qualify for family-based immigrant visas:

  • Immediate relatives
  • Family members belonging to preference categories

Immediate Relatives

Immediate relatives are the children, spouses, and parents of U.S. citizens. The following U.S. citizens can apply for the listed relatives:

  • Citizen parents for their children who are under 21 and unmarried, including step-children, adopted children, and certain orphans
  • Citizen adult children at least 21 years old for their parents
  • Citizen spouses for their spouses (marriage-based)

The immediate relative category is most desirable because family members will not have to wait in line for their visa dates to become current. This means that they can apply for permanent residence status or immigrate to the U.S. as soon as their visa petitions are approved.

Preference Categories

Relatives who do not fall under the immediate relative category are grouped into the preference categories. There are four preference categories of relatives who can apply for family-based immigrant petitions:

  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters (21 and over) of U.S. citizens and their minor children, if any
  • Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (21 and over) of lawful permanent residents
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children
  • Family Four Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age