Consular Processing

The Right to Bring Family Members from Abroad

One of the most important rights as a lawful permanent resident or United States citizen is the ability to bring family members to the United States from abroad. This process, known as “consular processing,” starts with the filing of an immigrant visa petition by the qualifying United States citizen or lawful permanent resident with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Once the immigrant visa petition is approved, the petition is forwarded to the Department of State to determine if an immigrant visa number is available. If such a number is available, the applicant may then apply for a visa. These numbers are assigned according to the following preferences:
  • First preference – Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens (21 or over)
  • Second preference – Spouses and unmarried children of individuals with lawful permanent resident status
  • Third preference – Married children of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth preference – Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens
It is important to note that the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including parents, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number. A visa is immediately available once their visa petition is approved.

Exploring All Legal Options to Reunite Families

The Law Office of Courtney McDermed believes that reuniting family members through immigration is among the most important work that we do. We’re committed to exploring all of the possible legal options a person has for immigrating to the U.S. or bringing eligible family members here.

Specific family visa categories Courtney McDermed can assist with include the immediate relatives, the family preference categories, and the more specialized K visa types (for fiances/fiancees and spouses).

Although each situation is unique, Cocurtney actively seeks to achieve a timely and successful outcome in every case. We encourage people with family abroad to consult with an experienced attorney.
Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. -Justice Louis Brandeis