In our current immigration system, family based immigration is limited to immediate relatives.  An individual may be sponsored by a spouse, parent, child or sibling.  Since almost the inception of the immigration laws in the US, this system has been based upon quotas of allotted visas in each category.  Currently, many of the family based categories are extremely oversubscribed which translates into a long waiting period.  For example, the sibling category takes well over 10 years.

Often the easiest way to immigrate is through a US citizen spouse.  Typically this process takes about 1 year or less depending on where the immigrating spouse resides when applying.  If the alien spouse is applying from within the US and attempting to adjust their status here, then they must have made a legal entrance in order to do so except in very limited circumstances.

The visa bulletin is a publication from the Department of State that is published monthly to show the movement in the immigration categories.  It is the best way to see the timing of the process.  It can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html

It is helpful to have an immigration attorney direct this process as there could be several government agencies involved.  Further, the US family members have to be able to prove that they can support the immigrants.  The potential immigrants must show that they are admissible under the current immigration laws as well.  The immigration attorneys at Brodzki Jacobs & Brook have over 25 years of combined experience.  We are members of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association and stay up to date on current events affecting the immigration community.