What is family preference when you apply for a Green Card in San Antonio, TX?
San Antonio, TX – One of the easiest ways to bring an alien relative to the US or to help one get legal residence when they’re already in Texas with you is to sponsor them for a Green Card. In order to sponsor an immediate relative for a Green Card a petitioner must be a US citizen or a permanent legal resident. The first step is to file a form known as the I-130 family-based petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once you’ve done your part, your relative will proceed with the paperwork needed for adjustment of status (if they’re already in Texas) or with the consular formalities (if they’re still in their country of origin). No matter what type of situation you’re in, it is advisable to hire a reliable San Antonio immigration lawyer, as any mistake in the paperwork or any missing document can cause your application to be rejected or delayed for several months, if not years. Keep in mind that it’s a lengthy process anyway as for certain categories there’s a limited number of Green Cards per year. If you miss your turn, you and your relative might have to wait till the next year.
What is the family preference system?
The Green Cards issued every single year are allocated using a family preference system. Here’s how it works.
- First preference (F1) – unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens;
- Second preference (F2A) – spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;
- Second preference (F2B) – unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents;
- Third preference (F3) – married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and
- Fourth preference (F4) – brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).
Note that grandparents, uncles, aunts or in-laws do not qualify as sponsors for a Green Card application.
What is public charge and how does it affect my Green Card application?
When they sponsor a relative for immigration purposes, immigrants are required to fill in the I-864 affidavit of support (also known as the sponsor or co-sponsor application). This form is meant to show that the petitioner can support their alien relative so they won’t become a public charge and depend on government benefits. That I-864 used to be enough to prove that, but under new regulations the USCIS examines each case to determine if the immigrant applying for a Green Card won’t become a burden and rely on benefits. They will consider factors such as age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills, to determine whether the applicant will need government benefits. If an applicant is deemed a potential public charge, their application will be denied, although there are several reasons why one person may qualify for a waiver.
If you’re interested in bringing an alien relative to Texas, talk to a trustworthy immigration lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, servicing the San Antonio area.
Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen
San Antonio, TX
206 East Locust Street
San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 769-3273
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