Some Illinois residents may be concerned about how they can bring their close family members to join them in the United States. In the family-based immigration process, there are several types of family relations that take priority, especially spouses, fiancé(e)s, and adopted children. When a U.S. citizen wants to bring their spouse to live as a permanent resident, he or she must file a visa petition for the spouse. In some cases, the spouse is already living in the U.S. When the petition is approved, the spouse can then petition to adjust status to that of a green card holder.

If the spouse is living abroad, he or she can go to the closest consulate to finalize the processing of the immigrant visa. If the U.S. citizen and the spouse were married for less than two years, the permanent residency granted will be considered conditional. The spouses must show their marriage is real and not conducted solely for immigration purposes. They must file a petition to remove the conditional status before the two-year period is over.

A fiancé(e) visa is an option for foreign nationals planning to marry a U.S. citizen. They must marry within 90 days after the fiancé(e) enters the U.S. on the visa, or the fiancé(e) may be subject to removal proceedings and deportation. In addition, U.S. citizens can file adoption petitions for childen born overseas. Potential adoptive parents searching for a child can file an initial petition before a specific child is identified and then finalize the application with a petition to classify the adopted child as an immediate relative.

Family immigration can be a complex yet rewarding process for many people with loved ones outside the country. An immigration law attorney may help people to navigate the system and protect their rights and relationships.