Family-Sponsored Permanent Residence
An important element of United States immigration law is the intent of keeping families together. If you are a noncitizen seeking to live in the Houston area, where you have family, or you live in the Houston area now and seek to bring family from around the globe here, you may be able to accomplish this through family-sponsored permanent residence.
Family sponsorship is a common way to obtain permanent residence, often called a "green card." Having an attorney work with you can help ensure that the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Permanent Residence Sponsorship Through Houston Family
Kathryn Karam is an experienced Houston immigration lawyer who can help unite your family by assisting with sponsorship of your family members for green cards. Permanent residence means being able to live in the United States indefinitely and simply renew your greencard periodically. It's also an important step on the path to becoming a citizen, also known as naturalization.
Kathryn Karam works with difficult situations, and is experienced at finding creative solutions for complicated matters. She can assist your family with green cards. Call The Law Office of Kathryn N. Karam, P.C. today at (832) 582-0620 to set up a consultation.
The Law Office of Kathryn N. Karam, P.C. is based in Houston and assists families in the surrounding area, including in The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, Alief, Tomball, Cypress and Clear Lake.
Overview on Family-Sponsored Green Cards
- What a Green Card Means
- Qualifying Family Members for Permanent Residence Sponsorship
- Lawyer Helping Unite Houston Families Through Permanent Residence
What a Green Card Means
With legal permanent resident status, you have most of the rights and the responsibilities of a citizen. You may come and go from the United States with the same number of restrictions. You can move from Houston to anywhere within the U.S.A. You can work without special permission. You can even sign up to serve in the Armed Services.
If after you obtain your green card, your sponsoring family member dies or you are divorced from the spouse who sponsored you, your status does not change.
The main differences between citizens and permanent residents are: 1) permanent residents may not vote; and 2) While citizenship is permanent, a person may abandon their permanent residence, or it may be taken away if a person commits certain crimes. If you lose your permanent residence, you must return to your country of origin.
Qualifying Family Members for Permanent Residence Sponsorship
Both U.S. citizens and permanent residents may sponsor certain family members, whether they are living in the Houston area or elsewhere in the United States. However, there are dramatically different wait times. There are also different wait times for different members of the family.
The shortest wait time is for the spouse, unmarried children under 21 and parents of a U.S. citizen. The citizen must be 21 or older to sponsor his or her parents. These are called "immediate relatives." Unlike other categories, there are an unlimited number of visas that are immediately available, so there are no wait times due to visa backlogs. You may petition as an immediate relative if you are the widow or widower of a person who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his or her death. Under the Violence Against Women Act, you may also petition as an immediate relative if you are the spouse, former spouse, or stepchild of a U.S. citizen who subjected you to abuse or extreme cruelty.
U.S. citizens may also sponsor their unmarried sons and daughters who are over the age of 21, married sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters. There is a wait list for these visas, and it could take decades for some to receive these visas.
Permanent residents may sponsor spouses and unmarried children under age 21. There is a wait list for these visas, as well.
It's important to realize that, if the status of you or your sponsor changes, it can affect which category you fall under. For instance, if you are on a wait list to be sponsored by a spouse who is a permanent resident, and your spouse is naturalized, you are then an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen and may upgrade your petition accordingly.
People of the same sex who were legally married in a jurisdiction which recognizes marriage equality may sponsor spouses. Although Texas does not recognize such marriages, immigration is a federal matter, so marriage equality is recognized in the immigration process. So long as a marriage took place where marriage equality is recognized, the marriage is recognized for immigration purposes.
Lawyer Helping Unite Houston Families Through Permanent Residence
Obtaining permanent residence for your family members can be a complicated matter. Kathryn Karam is proud to help families who are seeking to unite in the Houston area. She is a Houston immigration lawyer who can handle complex immigration matters and find creative solutions. If you are seeking to become a permanent resident through family, or seeking to obtain a green card for a loved one, call The Law Office of Kathryn N. Karam, P.C. today at (832) 582-0620 to schedule a confidential consultation.