The Basics of Family-Based Immigration


Are you considering filing an immigration petition for a family member? If so, you’re in the right place! Applying for a family visa can be daunting and complex. Understanding the process can be manageable, though. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about family-based immigration. In this blog post, we’ll cover all the critical information–from eligibility requirements to paperwork and more–so you can confidently navigate your way through the application procedure and become reunited with your loved ones as soon as possible. So, read on to learn more about how family visas work and what steps need to be taken along the way.

Understanding Family-Based Immigration

Family-based immigration refers to the process of bringing a family member to live in the United States permanently. This can include spouses, children (step-children), parents, and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as spouses and children of permanent residents. In order for family-based immigration to be approved, the sponsoring relative must prove their relationship with the beneficiary (the person seeking entry to the U.S.) and meet specific eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

The first step in the family-based immigration process is determining if you are eligible to sponsor a relative. In order to do so, you must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Additionally, you must have a qualifying family relationship with the beneficiary, such as being a spouse, parent, child, or sibling.

Sponsorship Process

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to begin the sponsorship process. This involves filing an immigrant petition on behalf of your relative with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The category you file will depend on your relationship with the beneficiary and their immigration status. Once your petition is approved, it will then be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing if the family member is overseas.

Visa Application Process

After being sent to the NVC, all necessary forms and documents must be completed and submitted before a visa interview can be scheduled at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the family member’s home country. This will also require the payment of various fees and the completion of a medical exam. Once all requirements are met, an interview will be scheduled, and a decision will be made on the visa application.

Adjustment of Status

If the family member is already living in the United States on a different type of visa (such as a student visa), they may be able to apply for an adjustment of status rather than going through the visa application process. This involves filing an additional application with USCIS and providing evidence that all requirements have been met.


It’s important to note that not everyone is eligible for family-based immigration due to various factors such as criminal history or past immigration violations. If the family member is deemed inadmissible, they may need to apply for a waiver or seek other options for entry into the United States.


While family-based immigration can be complicated and time-consuming, it’s also a rewarding process that allows families to be reunited in the United States. By understanding eligibility requirements and following the correct procedures, you can successfully sponsor a relative and bring them to live in the U.S. with you.

If you have any further questions or need assistance with your family-based immigration case, it’s recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance and support. At Fayad Law, our team of experienced immigration attorneys can help you navigate the complex process of family-based immigration. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of U.S. immigration laws and regulations, and we are committed to assisting families to reunite in the U.S.

At Fayad Law, we understand that family is everything. We have a team of attorneys who come from immigrant backgrounds, so we know firsthand the challenges and obstacles that families face when trying to immigrate to the United States. Contact Fayad Law today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family-based immigration attorneys. We look forward to helping you reunite with your family in the United States.