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Family Immigration Lawyer in Dallas, Texas

At M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC, your family's immigration needs are my top priority. I, Attorney Kavi Mathew, am passionate about helping families stay together and build their future in the United States. If you intend to bring your family member to the U.S., I’m here to guide you through the process.  

Let me start by helping you understand the basics of family immigration.  

Understanding Family Immigration 

Family immigration allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their family members for permanent residence in the United States. This process ensures that families can live together and support each other as they pursue the American dream. 

The process begins with the sponsoring family member filing a petition on behalf of their relative. If approved, this petition allows the relative to apply for a visa or adjust their status. Also, different categories, such as immediate relatives or family preference categories, have varying processing times and eligibility criteria. 

Types of Family-Based Immigration

Immediate Relatives 

U.S. citizens can sponsor their spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents. There is no limit on the number of visas available for immediate relatives. 

Family Preference Categories 

These are more distant family relationships and include: 

  • First preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

  • Second preference (F2A/F2B): Spouses and children (under 21) of permanent residents and unmarried sons and daughters (21 and over) of permanent residents

  • Third preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

  • Fourth preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens

Accompanied Immigrant Category 

This allows immediate family members, such as spouses and young children of the primary immigrant, to accompany and obtain legal status in the United States concurrently. When a primary immigrant is granted legal status, their immediate family members are eligible to apply for visas and green cards under this category. This ensures that families do not have to be separated while navigating the immigration process. 

K-1 Visa Category

Known as the fiancé(e) visa, this category permits a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign fiancé(e) to the United States for marriage. 

VAWA Self-Petitioners

Under the Violence Against Women Act, certain abused spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents can self-petition for a visa without the abuser’s knowledge. 

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The Family Immigration Process

The family immigration process may seem overwhelming, but with the right guidance, it can be straightforward. Here is a step-by-step overview: 

  1. Petition filing: The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

  1. Approval of petition: Once approved, the petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. 

  1. Visa application: The sponsored family member will need to complete a visa application and attend an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. 

  1. Medical examination: The applicant must undergo a medical examination by an approved physician. 

  1. Interview and visa issuance: If the visa application is approved after the interview, the family member will receive their visa and can travel to the United States. 

  1. Adjustment of status: In some cases, the family member may need to apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident after entering the U.S. 

Common Challenges in Family Immigration 

While the family immigration process can reunite families, it’s not without its challenges. Here are some common issues: 

  • Lengthy processing times: Processing times can vary depending on the visa category. Immediate relatives typically experience shorter wait times, while family preference categories may face longer delays. 

  • Incomplete documentation: It is important to ensure that all required documents are submitted correctly. Missing or incorrect information can lead to delays or denials. 

  • Interview preparation: The visa interview is a critical step in the process. Being well-prepared and knowing what to expect can make a significant difference. 

  • Changes in immigration laws: Immigration laws and policies can change. Staying informed about current regulations is essential for a successful application. 

  • Financial requirements: Sponsors must meet certain income requirements to demonstrate they can support their family members. Failure to meet the financial criteria can result in a denied petition. 

  • Background checks and security clearances: All applicants undergo thorough background checks. Issues related to past legal troubles or security concerns can complicate and prolong the process. 

  • Legal complexities: Each family immigration case is unique, and things like prior immigration violations or criminal history may require specialized legal assistance. 

  • Healthcare considerations: The mandatory medical examination may reveal health conditions that necessitate further documentation or treatment before visa approval. 

Family Immigration Attorney in Houston, Texas

I grew up in India and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. After law school in Dallas, I've spent almost 10 years representing clients in immigration, personal injury, criminal defense, and family law around Dallas. I offer personalized legal services and am available for my clients 24/7. If you need an immigration law attorney in Houston, Texas, I've got your back. Get in touch with M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC today, and let's work on securing your family's future in the United States.