Family-Based Petitions

Immigration to the United States is centered on the family unit. Nearly two-thirds of all new migrants to the U.S. come on a visa obtained by their familial relationship. The process of getting a family member to the United States is filled with paperwork. Mistakes can delay or even derail that process. Our experienced family immigration lawyers work with clients on all the details involved with their visa petitions and help them navigate the process with peace of mind.

A prospective migrant to the United States must have a sponsor living in the U.S., one who is either a full citizen or holds a green card, which indicates they have status as a permanent lawful resident. The sponsor will have to sign an affidavit of support.

An affidavit of support is a legal commitment to undertake financial responsibility for the new immigrant until the newcomer has been gainfully employed for 10 years or until they gain full citizenship status, whichever comes first. The purpose is to ensure immigrants have a base of support to rely on and will not need to rely on government social programs in the early years of their U.S. residency. An affidavit of support has the binding legal force of a contract with the United States government.


Most family-based visa applications are based on a relationship as a  fiancé(e), spouse or immediate family member, although there are limited numbers of visas available each year to extended family members. The types of visa applications available include the following:

K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa: When one of the prospective spouses is living in the United States as a permanent resident (full citizen or green card), they can petition to have their fiancé(e) brought over with a 90-day window allowed for the marriage to be performed. After the wedding, the newly married spouse can apply for permanent residence. A K-1 visa requires evidence of the intent to marry.

K-3 Spouse Visa: In the case of a marriage that already exists, the party who is a U.S. citizen can file a petition to have their spouse brought over. Legal documentation proving the validity of the marriage will be one part of securing approval.

K-2 & K-4 Children’s Visas: Directly tied to both K-1 and K-3, these visas allow for unmarried children of the engaged or married couple to emigrate to the United States. K-2 is the application used for children when their parent(s) is applying under K-1. The K-4 children’s visa is linked in with the K-3 application.

Immediate Family Members: Permanent residents can file a family-based petition to sponsor their unmarried children, along with brothers and sisters who are 21 years old and up.

Extended Family Members: There is a cap of 480,000 visas that can be extended each year to those beyond the immediate family. However, along with that ceiling of 480K, there is also a floor of 226,000 visas that the government must issue each fiscal year.

Whether the application is for an immediate or extended family member, the I-130 form is what’s used.

At Dworsky Law Firm, we do more than represent people in the immigration process. Many of us have been there ourselves. Our founding partner, Attorney Ashley D. Dworsky, worked through the immigration process to come to the United States. Others in our office have done the same. We know what you, your family, and the person you want to sponsor are going through. We want to help you get settled. And we want you to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your lawyer is on top of all the details and hard at work on your case.

We’ve been helping people come to the United States for over 25 years. Let us help you next.

Call today at (847) 441-4188 or contact us online to set up a consultation.



On matters of U.S. immigration law, our firm can effortlessly and efficiently represent clients located anywhere inside or outside the United States. Immigration law is Federal in nature and not state-specific.

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