Family Law Immigration

Portner & Shure Law Firm Serving Maryland, Virginia & Washington D.C.

Immigrant family walking at dusk | Maryland, Virginia AttorneyIf you or a loved are seeking assistance navigating the U.S. Immigration system, you need a skilled attorney. The immigration system is filled with complexity and confusion, with immigration laws rapidly changing. At Portner & Shure, we believe that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to your immigration process. We take the time to understand your circumstances and devise an immigration plan that works towards obtaining your goal.

When you hire Portner & Shure, you get experienced top-rated attorneys with a track record of more than 20 years of success.  In addition, you get a dedicated and compassionate team on your side. Our paralegals and attorneys are native speakers of multiple languages, including Spanish,Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese, and Korean. Not only that, most of our team have personally experienced, witnessed someone, or helped someone go through the immigration process.

We are dedicated to helping those in our community.  Whatever your immigration need is, we will help you. Contact us in Maryland at (301) 854-9000 or in Virginia at (703) 734-8790 for a FREE initial consultation. Portner & Shure, Attorneys at Law serve clients throughout the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC areas.  

Obtaining a Green Card for your Family Members

If you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or U.S. citizen, you may be able to assist family members who are not LPR’s or Citizens in obtaining their visas, also known as green cards, and becoming LPR’s themselves. The first step in this process would be filing an I-30 application. An I-30 establishes a valid relationship between the LPR/Citizen and the visa seeker. The following relationships are considered valid relationships under U.S. Immigration laws:

  • Children under the age of 21 who are unmarried
  • Children over the age of 21
  • Children who are married
  • Spouses
  • Parents
  • Brothers/Sisters of U.S. Citizens

Your I-30 Petition for Family Visa

If you are applying via an I-30 petition for a family visa, it can take some time to process your application and obtain your visa. Once a proper I-30 application has been filed, you will receive a confirmation of receipt of your application from the USCIS  within 2 to 3 weeks.

After the application has been received, the application review process takes anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, with certain categories, such as Spouses, Parents, or Child who are under the age of 21 and unmarried reviewed much quicker than others.

After the application has been reviewed and approved, it can 5 months to 1 year for an immediate relative to obtain their green card. For those who are not in the immediate relative category, their wait can be much longer. For non-immediate relative family members it can take 6 months to 6 years to obtain a green card. Those in the F1 categories, who are Unmarried, adult sons and daughters (age 21 or over) of U.S. citizens, are given top priority, followed by F2A (Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of permanent residents), then F2B (Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents), then F3 (Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens), and lastly F4 (Siblings of adult U.S. citizens).

You can check the your place in the visa line at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html

After your I-30 application has been accepted, your relationship with the Visa seeker will be evaluated and, your relationship will ultimately be placed into 1 of 3 separate categories.

If you are a U.S. Citizen and filed an I-30 on behalf of your Spouse, Parent, or Child who is under the age of 21 and who is unmarried, your visa seeker will be placed in the “Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizen” category. This is considered to be the best category, as under this category, the I-30 application is given the utmost priority and processed the quickest. In addition, Immediate relatives are able to immigrate into the U.S. much quicker than other categories. Lastly, there are are an unlimited number of visas available for Immediate Relatives, meaning access into the country is almost assured once the application is processed.

If you are an LPR and filed an I-30 on behalf of your Spouse, or Child under or over the age of 21, your visa seeker will be placed in the “Family Members of Permanent Residents” categories. Those in this category will be designated as F2A if a Spouse or Child under the age of 21, or F2B if a Child over the age of 21. F2A and F2B applications are given less priority over Immediate Relative applications and F1 designates, and will be processed at a slower rate. F2A and F2B must wait until a visa becomes available before entering into the U.S. Only a limited amount of Visas are distributed each year. About 87,900 visas are available for F2A applicants, and 26,300 visas for F2B applicants.

If you are a U.S. Citizen, and filed an I-30 on behalf of your unmarried child over the age of 21, married child, or sibling, your visa seeker will be placed in the “Other Family Members of U.S. Citizens” category. Those in this category will be designated as F1 if an unmarried child over the age of 21 of a U.S. Citizen, F3 if a married child of a U.S. Citizen, or F4 if a sibling of a U.S. Citizen.  F1 application will be given priority over other F-designation, and are processed the quickest.  F3 and F4 designates are given the lowest priority when it comes to processing the I-30 application. F1’s, F3’s, and F4’s must wait until a visa becomes available before entering into the U.S. Only 23,400 visas are available each year for F1 applicants, 23,400 for F3 applicants, and 65,000 visas for F4 applicants.

Family Based Defenses for Deportation

In the even that you or a loved one find themselves in the process of being deported, familial ties can serve as a beneficial asset in your deportation defense. Under certain circumstances, the person to be deported can ask that removal proceedings be canceled, and they be granted a green card if they can prove ten years' physical presence in the U.S. and can also show that being deported would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying relative. A qualifying relative for the purposes of removal means a spouse, a parent, or a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Family Ties and the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers

If you are in the U.S. unlawfully for more than 180 days, you are barred from adjusting your status and becoming a lawful permanent resident. However, you may be eligible for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers. Under this waiver, those who have means of becoming a lawful permanent resident via an I-30 application under the “Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizen” category, will have this immigration bar lifted if they are:

  • 17 years of age or older.
  • In the process of obtaining your immigrant visa and have an immigrant visa case pending.

Able to demonstrate that refusal of your admission to the United States will cause extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident spouse or parent.

If you or a loved one are seeking admission into the United States, your family relationship could be an asset in assisting you through your immigration process. Parents, children, siblings, spouses, are all grounds in which green cards can be obtained.

Criminal Defense for Offenses That May Result in Immigration Consequences

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, you could be facing immigration consequences if convicted. With more than 20 years of experience, the lawyers at Portner & Shure know how to navigate the criminal court systems to get you the best possible results and minimize or prevent immigration consequences.

Contact our experienced and compassionate legal team today

At Portner & Shure, we are committed to providing effective, aggressive legal representation to clients from Washington D.C., Baltimore and counties throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and Richmond. To schedule your no-cost consultation, please contact us today by completing the form on this page or calling (240) 345-3150.  Our experienced legal team includes paralegals fluent in Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese.