Family Visas Attorneys in Houston
Did your family member move to the United States to start a new job and establish a new home for you and your other loved ones? Were you that family member, now looking to bring your loved ones to the United States as soon as possible?
Family-based immigration is generally the most common method of obtaining a U.S. green card. But it is by no means an easy process. To give your family the highest possible likelihood of building a secure future in the United States, retain the services of Baker Donelson.
With more than 40 years of experience, our attorneys are the driven and knowledgeable advocates you need on your side. Attorney Wilka Toppins has experienced the immigration process firsthand, and she knows how intimidating and confusing the system can be. We are here to strengthen your confidence and fight for the future you and your loved ones deserve.
The Family-Based Immigration Process
A visa is the document you will need to obtain if you are currently abroad and want to come to the United States. To obtain a visa, you’ll go through consular processing, in which you apply and attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.
Generally, family-based immigration involves sponsorship. A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) will sponsor their foreign-citizen family member by filing a petition on their behalf. If this petition is approved, the foreign-citizen family member can obtain a visa, which they will present to CBP at a U.S. port of entry. If CBP permits them to enter, USCIS will send the family member their green card (which signifies their lawful permanent residence).
If you are already in the United States but not yet an LPR, you will need to adjust your status. Unless you have accrued unlawful presence, the adjustment of status process will not require you to leave the country.
Who Can Qualify for a Family Visa?
Simply being related to a U.S. citizen or LPR is not necessarily enough to qualify you for a visa. Citizens and LPRs can only sponsor certain family members, and each type of relationship has a different level of priority (called a preference category).
The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are not technically a preference category because visas are always available for them—there is no annual cap. Under U.S. immigration law, an immediate relative is a U.S. citizen’s spouse, any children who are unmarried and under 21, and, if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older, their parents.
If you are not an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you may qualify for a visa under one of the following preference categories:
- First preference: U.S. citizens’ sons and daughters who are unmarried and 21 or older
- Second preference (2A): LPRs’ spouses and any unmarried children under 21
- Second preference (2B): LPRs’ unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 or older
- Third preference: U.S. citizens’ married sons and daughters of any age
- Fourth preference: U.S. citizens’ siblings (if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older)
If you an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, or you fall into one of the above categories, you may be eligible for a family-based immigrant visa.
Other ways to bring your family to the United States include K-1 visas and dependent visas.
The K-1 visa, otherwise known as the fiancé(e) visa, allows a U.S. citizen to obtain a nonimmigrant visa for their foreign-citizen fiancé(e). The fiancé(e) uses this visa to enter the United States, and they must marry their sponsor within 90 days. If they do, they can adjust their status to permanent residence.
There are many different types of dependent visas. These grant derivative status to the children and other dependent loved ones of immigrant or nonimmigrant visa holders. Visit here to learn more about your options for bringing your dependents with you to the U.S.
So happy that I found Mrs. Toppins!- Anna
Available & her staff was extremely helpful.- Michael
Don’t hesitate, call Wilka immediately & she will solve it!- Maro M.
Thank you for all of your work!- Rachel F.
The most multifaceted attorney I have ever met!- Zel S.
Empowering You With the Knowledge You Need
Immigration is more than just getting from Point A to Point B. Led by a founding attorney who has personally experienced this process, we know that immigration is about building a better future, taking enormous risks, and setting your sights higher than you once thought possible. Let Baker Donelson give you the knowledge and resources needed to navigate this uncertain terrain and turn your American Dream into a reality.
Trusted in the Houston Community
Baker Donelson provides top-tier immigration services for clients in Houston, throughout the state of Texas, and all around the world. Because of our diligent work ethic and personal commitment to our clients’ wellbeing, we have achieved a success rate of nearly 100%. We are the confident and enthusiastic professionals you can trust to guide you on your journey and advocate for your rights.
Grab your cup of coffee and sit down with Wilka every Thursday as she covers important immigration topics from the Now Media TV studios in Houston Texas.
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