Family Based U.S. Immigration
U.S. citizens living in America or abroad may initiate requests for family members to immigrate to the U.S.
Our staff help clients to:
- Seek refuge from a country of persecution
- Understand the financial and emotional commitment necessary for resettlement
- Prepare documents, petitions, and applications required by the US Citizenship and Immigraition Service
- Work with consular authorities and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
For Refugee/Asylee Status
If you have been admitted to the United States as a refugee or if you have been granted status in the United States as an asylee, within the previous two years and as the principal applicant, you may file a petition to seek to be reunited with your spouse and/or your unmarried children under twenty-one (21) years of age whether they reside in or outside the United States. The staff of HIAS Chicago can assist you in determining whether your relatives meet the eligibility criteria for this type of processing and in filing the required petition.
For Immigrant Status
Eligibility for an Immigrant Category
Individuals who want to become immigrants (permanent residents) through their qualified family member will generally be classified in categories based on a preference system. Except for immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen who are given the highest immigration priority and a few other exceptions, Congress has set a finite number of visas that can be used each year for each category of immigrants. The general categories are listed below. For more specific information under each general category, please contact HIAS Chicago at 312-357-4666.
Information for U.S. Citizens Petitioning Family Members
Some relatives of U.S. citizens, known as immediate relatives, do not have to wait for a visa to become available. There is no limit to the number of visas that can be utilized in this category in a particular year. Immediate relatives include:
- Parents of a U.S. citizen
- Spouses of a U.S. citizen
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
Note: U.S. citizens must be at least 21 years old to apply for their parents.
The qualified relatives of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in the remaining family-based categories may have to wait for a visa to become available before they can apply for permanent residency. These categories include:
- Unmarried, adult (21 years of age or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children
- Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children
Information for Green Card Holders Petitioning Family Members
The qualified relatives of permanent resident in the following family-based categories may have to wait for a visa to become available before they can apply for permanent residency. These categories include:
- Spouses of permanent residents and the unmarried children (under the age of 21) of permanent residents
- Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or age or older) of permanent residents
Information for Fiancé(e) Visas
A U.S. citizen may petition to bring a foreign national fiancé(e) living abroad to the United States to marry.
If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition.