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Family Immigration

There are multiple ways to bring your family members to the U.S., and a few important rules that determine whether they can file within the U.S. or must process abroad at a U.S. Consulate. At Patnaik Law Office, we will evaluate your situation, determine the safest and most efficient way to sponsor your family, and handle all necessary paperwork with care and efficiency.

Consular Processing:

If your family member is abroad, the process to bring him/her to the U.S. can be long and complicated. It is important to handle each step correctly, as any mistake can cause unnecessary delay in visa processing.  The process generally involves dealing with multiple government agencies, filing an initial petition with USCIS, followed by additional forms and fees to the National Visa Center, and finally, communication with the U.S. Consulate to collect all necessary items before the visa interview.  Generally, the methods available to a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident to bring a family member to the U.S. permanently are:

  • K-1 fiance visas (for fiancés of U.S. citizens only)
  • K-3 spouse visas (for spouses of U.S. citizens only)
  • Immigrant Visa applications for parents, children, and siblings

Adjustment of Status:

When a person is already here, there is often a way to obtain their permanent residence without having to leave the United States. Adjustment of Status eliminates the hassle of dealing with the National Visa Center and leaving to attend an interview at the Consulate, because all necessary paperwork, evidence and fees are filed with USCIS, and an interview is scheduled at your local USCIS office. This process is much more efficient than Consular Processing, usually complete in the Dallas office within 6 months to one year. Another benefit of Adjustment of Status is that an applicant will receive work authorization, and in some cases, travel authorization, while the case is pending.

However, not everyone is eligible for Adjustment, and filing without eligibility can cause serious consequences such as the initiation of removal proceedings against the ineligible applicant. It is very important to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney before attempting to file an Adjustment of Status case.