Who is eligible for Family-Based Immigration?
At TNT Law, we have helped hundreds of clients get green cards through family-based immigration applications. The spouses, children, parents, and siblings of American Citizens are eligible to apply for green cards through their family members. In some cases the wait time for this type of immigration is non-existent—this tends to be true for the spouses of citizens, and parents of children who are citizens and over the age of 21. In some cases, however, the wait time can range from five to twenty years. Under some circumstances, a family-based immigration application can even fix an illegal “overstay.”
Who isn’t eligible for Family-Based Immigration?
Unfortunately, there are two things that cannot be fixed with any United States Citizenship and Immigration Services application. Those are:
- Some types of criminal conviction, particularly aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude. (For more information about these crimes, please see the Green Card page.)
- Uninspected entry into the United States. A passport stamp or an I-94 card are usually required to demonstrate inspection, however, there are some cases in which an alien can demonstrate an inspected entry without those items.
If you are thinking about beginning the family-based immigration process, it is extremely important that you speak to an experienced immigration attorney right away. We can look over your documentation, assure that your entry into the U.S. was legal and proper, and discuss the application procedure with you.
What If I Didn’t Make an Inspected Entry?
If you made an uninspected entry into the United State (i.e., “snuck in,” or used false documents to enter), please be extremely wary of anyone who promises you a green card. Many clients have come to me after handing over $5,000 to $10,000 to an “immigration attorney” promising them a green card. DON’T BE DECEIVED. They may have illegal access to green cards, but you will always be at risk for having this card taken away by USCIS. Likelier still, they will try to scam you—occasionally USCIS sends a work card on an application before sending a denial, which can come months later. By the time you find out your application was denied, the scam artist is long gone, and you find yourself with a notice to appear in immigration court.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest people out there who think that immigrants are easy targets. Don’t be fooled. Contact a reputable immigration attorney who can open the door to your future.