Roxana V. Muro is a knowledgeable immigration attorney with years of experience. Contact the Law Offices of Roxana V. Muro at 909-297-1860 with any immigration issues you may have.

What is Family-Based Residency?

The U.S. immigration system prioritizes family unification. Therefore, individuals with certain familial relationships with U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents apply for permanent residency in the U.S. themselves based on this family relationship.

Individuals who are granted family-based residency may also apply for a work permit, and sometimes family members of the individual who received family-based residency may also apply for residency in the United States as well.

How do I qualify for a Family-Based Residency?

Family-based residencies are granted based on a preference system. Familial relationships that have a higher preference will be granted family residency first. The preferences are:

  1. First preference: unmarried sons and daughters, 21 years and older, of U.S. citizens
  2. Second preference: spouses, children under age 21, and unmarried children over age 21, of a law permanent residents
  3. Third preference: Reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers. There is a long backlog for this preference, and it can require extra steps to obtain a permanent labor certification
  4. Fourth preference: married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and siblings of U.S. citizens

Spouses, minor children, and parents of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives and follow a different process for permanent residency.
In order to get a family-based residency, a person must already be present in the United States. They will generally be in the United States under some other visa. To qualify for the family-based residency, the individual will apply for an adjustment of status from whatever visa they already to family-based residency status. To be granted family residency, the individual applies for family residency must:

  • Filer a Form I-485 application to register permanent residence or adjust status
  • Have been inspected and admitted into the United States
  • Be physically present in the United States at the time of filing the I-485
  • Eligible to receive an immigrant visa
  • Have a family relationship they are claiming with U.S. citizen or permanent resident still exists
  • No, be barred from adjusting status
  • Be admissible to the United States as a permanent resident

Generally, individuals can apply for a work permit at the same time, or any time after, they file the I-485. In order to get a work permit, the individual must file an I-765 application for employment authorization.

Hire an Attorney Today!

If you believe you are eligible for family-based residency hiring an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney to assist, we will give you the best chance of succeeding with your visa application. If you are interested in family-based residency or have any other immigration-related issues, contact the law offices of Roxana V. Muro at 909-297-1860. You can’t afford NOT to.

We look forward to speaking with you about your case.


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