Family Green Cards

Washington D.C. Family Green Card Attorney

Compassionate Legal Guidance in Alexandria

If you are ready to permanently join your family in the United States, you will need a family-based green card. A family member that is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must sponsor you for a visa in what can be a frustrating and complex process. Once you secure lawful permanent residency, you will be able to live and work anywhere in the country. You will also be able to sponsor your own family members.

Navigating the United States family immigration system can be extremely challenging. Our Washington D.C. family green card lawyer at Law Group International can aid you throughout the application process and serve as your advocate in all communications with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We understand what is at stake and are compassionate to the stresses and uncertainty that accompany family green card difficulties.

Understanding Immediate Relatives and Family Preference Relatives

Relatives that are seeking green cards through family-based immigration will fall into one of two categories. Immediate relatives are reserved for certain immediate family members of U.S. citizens. Family preference relatives include the families of lawful permanent residents as well as certain types of relatives of U.S. citizens.

Immediate relatives include:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried children of U.S. citizens that are under 21 years of age
  • Parents of U.S. citizens

Family preference relatives include:

  • Adult, unmarried children of U.S. citizens that are over 21 years of age
  • Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of U.S. lawful permanent residents
  • Adult, unmarried children of U.S. lawful permanent residents
  • Married children (both adults and minors) of U.S. citizens
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens

Note that many types of relatives, including uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, and grandchildren, are not eligible under the immediate relatives or family preference categories. Additionally, lawful permanent residents can only sponsor their unmarried children under the age of 21 and spouses. Only citizens can sponsor their siblings, married children, and parents.

The main differentiating factor between the immediate relatives and family preference categories is the amount of time you can expect to wait before receiving your green card. USCIS does not assign a visa cap to immediate relatives, meaning that those being sponsored as an immediate relative will not have to wait for a visa to become available.

Family preference visas are subject to a cap, meaning that relatives sponsored in this category will likely have to wait for their priority date to become current. Wait times will depend on the number of backlogged applicants, the country from which someone is applying, and the beneficiary’s specific relationship to the petitioner.

Sponsoring a family member as an immediate relative is practically always more efficient than sponsoring someone as a family preference relative. We can help assess which of your family members may be eligible for green cards and help you understand what type of wait you will need to expect.


We have over 20 years of combined legal experience. Schedule a free initial consultation with our legal team by calling (703) 546-9300 or contacting us online.


The Family Immigration Application Process

The family green card application process is initiated when the sponsoring U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident submits a petition to USCIS. This application will provide evidence that a qualifying familial relationship exists under the immediate relative or family preference categories. The sponsor will also need to prove that they are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Though processing times can vary, USCIS will typically render a decision within 5 to 12 months. If the beneficiary is an immediate relative, they can immediately move on to the next step and move to adjust their immigration status. If the beneficiary is a family preference relative, they will need to wait for their priority date to become current. Depending on the situation, it can take several additional months or even multiple years before a visa becomes available.

Once a visa is available, the beneficiary will need to formally apply for their green card through either consular processing or adjustment of status. If they happen to be in the United States on another visa, they can request to adjust their status by submitting new forms to USCIS. If they are located abroad, they will schedule a consular processing appointment at their home country’s U.S. embassy or consular office. This appointment will include an in-person interview that will involve questions about their case.


Get the experienced legal support that your family deserves. Call (703) 546-9300 or contact us online today. We offer our legal services in English, Farsi, German, and Spanish.


Benefits of Family Green Cards

After completing consular processing or adjusting status, beneficiaries will be issued their green card. This powerful document confers lawful permanent residency. It is typically valid for a period of 10 years, though some spouses may receive a conditional green card that is only initially valid for 2 years. Non-conditional green cards can generally be renewed with relative ease.

Benefits to family green cards, you can:

  • Live and work anywhere in the United States
  • Travel in and out of the United States with fewer restrictions
  • Qualify for certain government benefits
  • Sponsor certain types of relatives for their own green cards
  • Become eligible for U.S. citizenship

Our Washington D.C. family green card attorney can help you efficiently address any obstacles that may arise throughout the process of obtaining your visa. If you are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, we can help you understand what will be required of you and how to protect your eligibility once you have secured your green card.

Conditional Green Cards for Spouses

Many U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents move to sponsor their spouses soon after they get married. If their noncitizen spouse is issued a green card before their marriage is at least 2 years old, they will receive a conditional green card with an initial validity period of only 2 years.

Conditional residents must be vigilant about “removing conditions.” This process involves submitting a jointly filed petition to USCIS in the 90-day window before the conditional green card is set to expire. USCIS officials will review the marriage to ensure its authenticity before granting a non-conditional green card. Failure to remove conditions can result in the accrual of unlawful presence and even deportation.

Our Washington D.C. family green card lawyer at Law Group International has assisted with thousands of immigration cases and can help you remove conditions. We are familiar with every facet of the U.S. immigration system and can leverage our knowledge to help you overcome whatever difficulties that you face. Our founding attorney is an immigrant himself who understands what is riding on the outcome of your family-based green card case.

We Can Help You With All of Your Immigration Needs

We are a general immigration practice who has garnered experience from thousands of cases. As long as it is immigration-related, we have you covered.

Delivering Quality Immigration Services to Our Clients

First-Hand Experiences
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