Family Immigration Lawyer in Louisiana

The United States has a long history of helping families reunite and build their lives within the same community. A huge part of our immigration system is built around the idea that families should be together. Having that longstanding history, however, does not mean it is an easy process. Family-based immigration has strict rules and deadlines that must be followed. 

At Mayeaux & Associates L.C., our immigration lawyers in Louisiana understands family-based immigration law and how it can impact families and communities. We help our clients and their family members meet deadlines and file immigration petitions that are completed timely, properly, and sufficiently. We are proactive and identify issues to be addressed immediately to avoid delays. Contact us at 225-754-4477 to schedule a free consultation today.

What is Family-Based Immigration?

Family-based immigration is part of the visa system that allows a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to petition non-citizen family members so that the latter can join the family in the United States as Lawful Permanent Residents. 

There are two types of family-based visas:

  1. Immediate relative; and 
  2. Family preference. 

Most family-based immigration petitions are filed within the United States. The U.S. based family member (the Petitioner) files a Petition on behalf of their relative (the Beneficiary) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Petitioner must also pay the relevant processing fees and provide all the necessary supporting documents. Once the Petition is approved, the Beneficiary will either consular process an immigrant visa in their home country, or adjust status in the United States, depending on the particular circumstances of the Beneficiary.

At Mayeaux & Associates L.C., our immigration lawyers in Baton Rouge and Kenner will guide you through the process, making sure all the necessary documents are filed, persuasive arguments are made, and all deadlines are met.

Family-Based Immigration Categories

Immediate Relatives

The immediate relative category includes any of the following relatives of a U.S Citizen:

  • Spouses
  • Widows or widowers
  • Unmarried children under 21 and adopted children
  • Parents

Immediate relative visas are prioritized. There's no cap or limit to the number of visas issued each year in this category. 

The bars to adjustment are also more flexible when it comes to immediate relative visas. This means that factors that otherwise might disqualify an individual from applying for Permanent Residence in the United States may not apply. 

Family Preference

The family preference category is for extended family members of U.S. citizens, as well as immediate and extended relatives of U.S. permanent residents. 

For U.S. Citizens, the family preference visa includes:

  • Unmarried children aged 21 or over
  • Married children
  • Siblings

For U.S. permanent residents, the family preference visa includes: 

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children

The number of family preference visas available is capped each year, resulting in long waiting periods for visa availability. The Department of State publishes a Visa Bulletin monthly, which identifies whose visas are available. 

A U.S. citizen cannot use family-based immigration petitions for other relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws. 

Three Common Challenges to Family Immigration in Louisiana

The largest percentage of lawful permanent residents in the United States comes from family-based immigration. However, the process is not without its challenges.

1. Visa Caps

While there are an unlimited number of visas for immediate family members, family preference visas are subject to annual caps. This means there can be substantial backlogs and lengthy wait times (years or even decades) for extended family members wanting to immigrate to the United States.

2. Insufficient Evidence

Evidence of a qualifying relationship is necessary for both immediate family and family preference visas. This evidence is especially important when it comes to spouse applications, where the petitioner must demonstrate a bona fide marriage. Gathering sufficient evidence of a relationship can be challenging, especially where official records are limited. 

3. Does Not Include All Family Members

Other extended family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws are not eligible for immediate family or family preference visas. People often assume that family-based immigration applies to any and all family members. 

How Can a Family Immigration Attorney in Louisiana Help Your Immigration Case?

Bringing family members to the United States via family-based immigration can be a highly emotive and stressful process. Letting a professional do the heavy work for you can bring both a lot of relief and the right results. Here are five reasons why you should consider retaining our immigration attorney in Baton Rouge and Kenner.

  1. Information. Our family immigration attorneys will help you understand what is involved in the immigration process. Plus, immigration rules, regulations, and policies change often, and our immigration lawyer will keep you updated on everything you need to know.
  2. Time. Our family immigration attorneys can advise you as to the right category of visa to apply for and guide you each step of the way. In particular, we can help you complete the application form and compile the necessary supporting documents to ensure your application is properly prepared. 
  3. Delay prevention. As already mentioned, you must meet deadlines or else risk delays or denied petitions. As your legal representative, you will not have to worry about these deadlines because we ensure clients are aware of upcoming deadlines.
  4. Appeals. If your petition is denied for any reason, we may be able to move forward with an appeal, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. 
  5. Protection of rights. Above all else, we seek to protect the rights of our clients. 

Contact an Immigration Lawyer in Baton Rouge and Kenner Today 

Family immigration is a way to keep families together and to help build our communities in Louisiana. Handling an immigration case, however, is not easy – even for family-based immigration. 

At Mayeaux & Associates L.C., we help you and your loved ones secure a legal status in the United States. Contact our immigration lawyers in Baton Rouge and Kenner today by using our online form or calling us at 225-754-4477 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to bringing your family members home.

Mayeaux & Associates L.C. Is Here for You

At Mayeaux & Associates L.C., we focus on the legal challenges every immigrant faces as they build new lives in the United States. We are here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.

Contact Us Today

From our offices in Baton Rouge and Kenner, the attorneys at Mayeaux & Associates L.C. are committed to answering your questions about your most important legal matters. We offer Free Consultations (in person or by telephone/video) and will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.