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Family Based Immigration


If you have a close family member who is already a United States citizen or permanent resident, you may be ready to begin the process of immigrating to the United States! However, you should not try to immigrate without the help of an experienced family based immigration attorney.


The process begins when your family member files an immigrant petition on your behalf with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). However, this is only the first step. What happens next depends on a number of factors, including, among other things: 1) whether your close family member is a United States citizen or not; 2) whether you live in the United States or overseas; and 3) if you are already in the United States, whether you live here legally or not.

These factors will determine 1) the amount of money you will have to spend in filing fees before you complete the immigration process; 2) whether you complete the immigration process in the United States or will be required to travel overseas to complete it; and 3) how long you will have to wait to complete the immigration process.

In addition, depending on who files your petition, you may be required to wait a few months or several years before you can live legally in the United States. Also, if you live overseas you may have to navigate four or more different websites to process your immigrant visa. If you have a police record, you may have to file an additional application for a pardon, or “waiver” before you can live in the United States.

As you can see from the above, immigrating to the United States is very complex and filled with chances to make costly mistakes. Often, a single wrong answer on one of the many forms you will have to complete can 1) delay the process for years; 2) cost you a fortune in travelling and other expenses; or 3) completely disqualify you from living in the United States.

Only an experienced immigration lawyer can help you make the right decision at each step of the immigration process. For the last eighteen years, Mark J. Monaco, Esq. has been helping people immigrate to the United States as quickly as possible and without having to pay a fortune in fees.

If you are looking for family based immigration help in Maryland, Washington DC, Annandale, Richmond, Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington or Northern VA, Mark J. Monaco, Esq. is there to help you.

Do you qualify for family based immigrant status? Here are some of the categories:

  • IR Immediate Relatives – includes parents, spouses and children under twenty- one of American citizens.
  • F1 Family First Preference – includes unmarried sons and daughters twenty-one or older of American citizens.
  • F2A Family Second Preference (A) – includes spouses and unmarried children under twenty-one of U.S. permanent residents.
  • F2B Family Second Preference (B) – includes unmarried sons and daughters
    twenty-one or older of U.S. permanent residents.
  • F3 Family Third Preference – includes married sons and daughters twenty-one or older of American citizens.
  • F4 Family Fourth Preference – includes brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens who are twenty- one or older.

Accessing this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Before acting on this information you should consult with an immigration attorney.

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