Family & Naturalization

Immediate Relative & Family Preference

Family immigration remains the most common way for individuals to apply for immigration benefits, though it often presents applicants with the most procedural roadblocks. Family immigration consists of two categories: Immediate Relative and Family Preference.  

Immediate relatives enjoy many advantages over the family preference categories. First, there is no limit to the number of immediate relatives the U.S. can accept as immigrants into the United States each year. Further, if an immediate relative has lawfully entered the United States, they are exempt from certain grounds of “inadmissibility,” such as accepting employment without authorization, accumulation of unlawful presence, overstaying their visas, or otherwise violating the immigration status on which they entered – all of which can present serious, often insurmountable, problems for immigrants classified in the family preference categories.  

The main obstacle for family preference is the quota, or “cap” imposed on the number of them that can  be admitted each year. The cap often creates backlogs that last years. If the family preference category  that you are in has an extensive backlog, Burgos Law can discuss employment immigration and business  immigration options with you that may be more advantageous.  

Keep in mind, those that are in the family preference categories are not exempt from any grounds of  inadmissibility. Grounds of inadmissibility are legal reasons that immigration can deny you admission  into the United States and lawful permanent resident status. Therefore, depending upon your  immigration history in the United States, a waiver or special permission (if available) may need to be  granted in order for you to become a lawful permanent resident.  

Whether you are an immediate relative or family preference immigrant, your path and process to becoming a lawful permanent resident will have its differences. But no matter what category you fall  under, Burgos Law can guide you through successfully obtaining your lawful permanent residence. We can work with you to help you understand your specific process to becoming a lawful permanent  resident and thoroughly explain your options.  

Immediate Relative Categories

If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a lawful permanent resident based on  your family relationship if you meet certain eligibility requirements. 

You are an immediate relative if you are: 

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen; 
  • The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or 

The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

Family Preference Categories 

You are a family preference immigrant if you are: 

  • The unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens; The spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;
  • The unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents; The married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; or 

The brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).

Citizenship & Naturalization

 Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most important decisions an immigrant can make. Burgos  Law wants to help you achieve your goal of becoming a United States Citizen. Depending on your  situation, there may be different ways to obtain citizenship.  

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a lawful permanent resident after  meeting the following requirements:  

  • Applicant must be age 18 or older at the time of filing the application; 
  • The Applicant must be a Lawful Permanent Resident for 3* or 5 years; 

o *You have been married to and living with the same U.S. Citizen spouse for the last three  years and your spouse has been a U.S. Citizen for the last three years at the time you file  for Naturalization 

  • The Applicant must have Continuous Residence in the US for at least 5 years preceding the date  of filing and up until the time of Naturalization; 
  • The Applicant must be Physically Present in the US for at least 30 months out of the 5 years (913  days) immediately preceding the date of filing;  
  • The Applicant must demonstrate Good Moral Character for five years prior to the date of filing  and up until the time of Naturalization; and  
  • The Applicant must be able to pass the English and Naturalization Test. 

The naturalization process often becomes complicated when issues arise with Continue ResidencePhysical Presence, and Good Moral Character. Although these criteria may seem straight forward, they  have many legal intricacies and are often the basis of the majority of naturalization denials. Burgos Law  can help you prepare for any hurdles you may face and your naturalization interview.  

Acquisition of Citizenship, also known as Derivative Citizenship, is obtained through U.S. citizenship  parents either at birth or after birth pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. A child born outside of  the United States automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when all of the following conditions have been  met on or after February 27, 2001: 

  • The person is a child of a parent who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization (including  an adoptive parent); 
  • The child is under 18 years of age; 
  • The child is a lawful permanent resident (“LPR”); and 

The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen  parent.

For those of you that were 18 years of age or older on February 27, 2001, the law in effect at the time the last condition was met before reaching 18 years of age is the relevant law to determine whether you acquired citizenship. Burgos Law can assist with determining whether you have automatically acquired  citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 or any previous relevant law.