Family-Based Immigration

Our Legal Team


Steven L. Tuchman
Director
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Thomas R. Ruge
Director
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Robert W. Rund
Director
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Sarah Moshe

Sarah Burrow
Director
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Dallin Lykins

Dallin Lykins
Associate
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Indianapolis Family-Based Immigration Lawyers

A foreign national who is a relative of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (LPR) may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency based on the qualifying family relationship. First, the U.S. citizen or LPR relative must file form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the foreign national with proof of the qualifying family relationship. Second, the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available for the foreign national based on the preference categories listed below. Immediate relatives (parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21) of U.S. citizens do not have to wait for a visa number to become available. However, the relatives in the following preference categories must wait for a visa number to become available:

  • First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens.
  • Second Preference: Spouses, unmarried children (under 21 years of age), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens.
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

Once USCIS receives form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, it will either be approved or denied. If the foreign national is already in the U.S., the foreign national may be eligible to apply to adjust his or her status to lawful permanent residence while remaining in the U.S. once a visa number becomes available. If the foreign national is outside of the U.S. when the visa number becomes available, he or she must complete processing of the visa at the U.S. consulate abroad.

In addition to the above family-based categories, there are special nonimmigrant visas available for fiancés or spouses of U.S. citizens living abroad (K visas). There are also nonimmigrant visas available for advance admission for the spouse and minor children of a lawful permanent resident (V visas).

To find out if you qualify for one of the above mentioned family-based visas and for additional information on family-based immigration, please contact our office to schedule a consultation at (317) 639-1210 or immigration@lewis-kappes.com.