Family based Green Card

Family Immigration Lawyers Chicago


Our Chicago Family immigration lawyers at Cipolla Law Group have over 30 years of combined experience helping families stay together in America. We have excellent track order of assisting clients to file for permanent residency via family relationships such as parents, siblings, husbands and wives to live legally in the United States. Call (773) 687-0549 or contact us online for a consultation.

Bringing a Family Members to the United States

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder), you are eligible to petition (or “sponsor”) for your family member to become a U.S. resident. The United States government has categorized family members of U.S. nationals based on their relationship with the U.S. nationals, age and marital status. Except for immediate relatives such as spouses and parents, each immigrant’s category represents different “preference” group. Each preference group is given a fixed number of immigrant visas (green cards) that can be issued each year. In general, the higher the preference, the more available immigrant visas can be processed annually. In other words, the higher the preference group, the faster your family member can immigrate to the U.S.

Therefore, it is important to find out what preference group your family member belongs to in order to understand whether of not they are eligible to be sponsored and how many number of immigrant visas are available to them each year. Based on all of these information, you will know approximately how long it takes to sponsor your family such as spouse, siblings, parents to the U.S.

Your Immigration StatusFamily Member you want to SponsorImmigrant’s Category
U.S. CitizenParentsImmediate Relative
SpouseImmediate Relative
Unmarried Children over 21 1st Preference Relative
Married Children (any age) 3rd Preference Relative
U.S. Citizen over 21Brother and Sisters 4th Preference Relative
U.S. Permanent ResidentSpouse2nd Preference Relative
Unmarried Children under 212nd Preference Relative (2A)
Married Children over 212nd Preference Relative (2B)
Contact our Chicago Family Immigration Lawyers – Cipolla Law Group

Family Immigration Options for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

Immediate relatives are spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21 years of age of adult U.S. citizens. As shown above, immigrant visas (green cards) are always available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. There is no wait time or queue for these types of family members to get a green card. However, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can “skip the line” for their green cards applications. For parents, spouse and children of permanent residents, they will have to get in line for an immigrant visa (green card) and be subject to the numeric limit of the preference category.

If your immediate relatives are in the U.S., they might be eligible for adjustment of status and filing their green card concurrently without leaving the U.S. You should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Chicago immigration attorney or contact Cipolla Law Group if you wish to learn more about this option.

Preference Categories for Family Members of Permanent Residents

Preference categories apply to anyone who is not an immediate relative. Family members such as U.S. citizens’ siblings or U.S. permanent residents’ spouse, children and siblings etc…are considered preference relatives and are subject to a green card numeric limit each fiscal year.


Can I sponsor an immigrant that is a non-family member?

Friends, cousins, uncles, aunts or anyone who is not your immediate relative are not eligible for be sponsored by you to be a U.S. resident. However, if they have a U.S. citizen child, spouse, parent or sibling related to your family, they might have a chance to become a U.S. residency in the future. The term “chain migration” applies to the scenario we just described above. Basically, a new immigrant can sponsor their own immediate or extended family members that the original sponsoring family member could not sponsor. For example, if your uncle is your mother’s brother and your mother is a U.S. permanent resident (green card holder) because you sponsored your mother for the U.S. residency. Once your mother becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen, she will be able to petition for her brother (your uncle). Your uncle can then sponsor his own immediate relatives such as spouse, parents and unmarried children to the U.S.

What is the fastest way to bring my siblings to the U.S?

It depends on your age, immigration status and what country your siblings are from. For siblings sponsorship, only U.S. citizens aged over 21 is eligible to sponsor their foreign siblings to the United States. Siblings of U.S. citizens are under the 4th preference categories with the average wait time of 7 to 12 years. If your siblings are nationals of countries that subscribe a substantial number of green card applications like India, the Philippines, Mexico, the average wait time is much longer and has been average between 17 to 22 years from the time an immigrant visa (I-130) is filed.

Can I be sponsored by both my U.S. citizen sibling and U.S. permanent resident parents at the same time?

Absolutely! If you do not mind to spend the extra government filing fees for both petitions, your U.S. sibling and your U.S. permanent resident parent can file an immigrant visa for you at the same time. Once your U.S. permanent resident parent becomes a U.S. citizen, your family preference petition will move up to a higher category assuming you stay unmarried.

Can I sponsor my girlfriend to USA?

While you can invite your overseas’ girlfriend to visit you in the U.S., there is not a kind of visa straightly for boyfriend or girlfriend visit in the U.S. By sponsoring someone, that means you are petitioning a immigrant or non-immigrant visa for that person. If your girlfriend wants to visit you temporarily, she may apply for a tourist visa (B visa). However, if she intends to live with you on a more permanently basis in the United States, you may consider sponsoring her a fiancée visa (K1 visa).

Experienced Chicago Family Immigration Lawyers

At Cipolla Law Group, we have extensive experience and excellent track record helping families and married couples with their visa and green card petitions.  With over 30 years of collective experience, our Chicago family immigration lawyers can assist you in a professional, efficient and cost effective manner.

We understand and relate to our client’s background as our legal team is extremely multi-cultural who speak Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. If you are looking for an experienced Chicago family based immigration lawyer, please call Cipolla Law Group at (773) 687-0549 or contact Chicago Family Immigration Lawyers online for a consultation. We’re conveniently located at down town Chicago and Lincoln Park, near DePaul University.

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