Family Visas

Houston Family Visa Attorney

Family visas help U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents bring close family members to this country so that they can be together. Obtaining a family visa can make a dramatic impact in a person’s life. Mario Madrid and the skilled legal staff at Madrid Law can assist their clients with all immigration matters, including the application for family visas.

Immediate Relative Petitions

American citizens and permanent residents can file an Immediate Relative Petition for their close family members. These family members may include their spouses, unmarried children who are under 21 years old, adopted orphans and parents. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws do not fall under this category of family members.


A U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident can be the sponsor for close family members. To be eligible as a sponsor, the person must be at least 18 years old and must sign the Affidavit of Support. He or she must also have a residence or domicile in the United States. To sponsor a parent, the sponsor must be at least 21 years old.


U.S. citizens can request an unlimited number of immediate family members because the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services allows citizens this right. However, there is a cap for extended family members of American citizens. There is also a cap for the relatives of permanent residents.

The Application Process

The application process begins by filing and receiving approval from the USCIS with an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The sponsor must demonstrate his ability to financially support the relative or relatives by showing that he earns an income at least 125% above the poverty line.

The sponsor must also sign a Form I-864 to accept legal responsibility for providing financial support to the family member. The actual immigrant visa must be filed at a U.S. consul’s office or embassy overseas. A person can also apply for adjustment of status if he or she is in the U.S.

Family Preferences

The family visa is authorized in order of preference. First preference is given to the unmarried children and any underage grandchildren of U.S. citizens. Second preference includes the spouses and unmarried children over the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents. Third preference includes the married children of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children. Finally, fourth preference includes siblings of United States citizens who are over the age of 21, their spouses and their young children.

Speak to a Houston Family Visa Lawyer

The experienced immigration attorneys at Madrid Law look forward to assisting you with putting your family back together.

Get in touch with Madrid Law by calling 713-877-9400 or complete the contact form at the top of this page.