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Family-Based Green Card

At Bueno Law we are an office of immigrants for immigrants.

Our attorneys & staff are talented immigration warriors with a deep passion for assisting the immigrant community through the family-based green card process and offering guidance on how to effectively navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and your green card case.


When you work with Bueno Law you will feel like you are part of a family, because we treat you like our family. Our team speaks English, Spanish, & Portuguese to best help you through your case. 


Who We Serve

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Female Friends


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Indigenous Peoples

Hispanic Immigrants

Happy Children
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Political Asylees

Young Soccer Players

Brazilian Immigrants


Central American Immigrants

However, you may still be eligible to be represented by us if you do not consider yourself a part of these demographics. We encourage you to contact us if you have experienced violence, discrimination, threats, intimidation, or abuse in any form.


What is a Family-Based Green Card?

A family-based green card is an immigrant visa allowing the applicant to join their close relatives in the US. Close relatives can be your spouse, children, parents, or siblings. 

Securing a family-based green card means you can move permanently to the U.S. You can live in any state you want to, go to school, and work for an employer based in the U.S.  In addition, you can travel outside of the country, and you become eligible to apply for citizenship in a few years. 

Who Can Qualify for a Family-Based Green Card

The requirements and qualifications for a family-based green card vary depending on your specific circumstances. Nevertheless, one of the main prerequisites is that the individual in the U.S. filing a petition on your behalf must have a valid US address and their status must be verified. This means that they must have valid documents proving they are either US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.

In addition, the petitioning family member [the U.S. citizen of Lawful Permanent Resident] must show that he has enough income to petition someone. The amount of money that they must show varies based on the household size. If the person in the U.S. is a spouse, then they must present a valid marriage certificate. If the relation is between children and parents or for siblings, they are required to present a valid birth certificate.

Family Visas and Green Cards for Parents, Spouses, Children and Siblings

Securing a family-based green card is a viable option if you have a qualifying family member (e.g., a spouse, child, parent or sibling) who is willing to file a petition on your behalf.  Though, it is important to note that the family member must either be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. 

Generally speaking, spouses, parents, and minor children of U.S. citizens can obtain their green card sooner when compared to other relatives or the relatives of green card holders.

Permanent Resident Status for Parents and Siblings

If you are a permanent resident (i.e. green card holder) in the United States, then you are authorized to file a petition for your spouse and/or unmarried children to secure green cards. However, in contrast to a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident is NOT authorized to petition for parents or siblings. 

Visas and Green Cards for Children of U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and their Fiancés and Spouses

As mentioned, the relationship between the petitioner of the visa/green card and the beneficiary will impact the steps that need to be taken and the overall processing time of an application. For example, there is an order of “family preference” that will dictate the viability of an application and how long you can reasonably expect a decision to take on the application. Here is an overview of that family preference order:

F1 (Family First) Preference: The F1 preference is for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children. 
F2 (Family Second) Preference: The F2 preference is for spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (21 years and above) of lawful permanent residents.
F3 (Family Third) Preference: The F3 preference is for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens as well as their spouses and minor children. 
F4 (Family Fourth) Preference: The F4 preference is for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.



The Family-Based Immigration Process

The process for obtaining a family-based immigrant visa typically begins by the sponsoring relative filing a Petition for Alien Relative (i.e., Form I-130). This Petition needs to be filed with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can apply whether you are inside or outside of the United States. Generally speaking, the following documents that will be needed to process the visa application:

  • Birth certificate

  • Passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of entry into the U.S.

  • Two passport photographs

  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)

  • Marriage termination documentation (if applicable)

In addition, other documents may be necessary, depending on the unique aspects of your particular case. 


For Marriage-Based cases, it is important to prove that the relationship is legitimate and not for immigration purposes. Additional documents and evidence that can potentially strengthen your case include: 

  • Joint Bank Account

  • Joint Residential Lease

  • Photos of you Together

  • Etc.

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Challenges Faced by Warriors Seeking Family-Based Green Cards and Visas

There are an array of different challenges and obstacles associated with pursuing a family based green card. Nevertheless, the two most common, and notable, hurdles you are likely to encounter include: (I) completing all of the requisite forms, including compiling the necessary supporting documents; and (II) having USCIS suspect that your marriage is not bona-fide; or (III) prior immigration history that undermines your petition. A professional family based immigration lawyer can help address these challenges by taking the burden off your shoulders in identifying and completing the necessary legal forms and help monitor and track your green card/visa application and provide periodic updates so you do not have to worry about checking the status yourself. 

Case Study: Bueno Law’s Experience with Family-Based Green Cards

The family-based immigration attorneys with Bueno Law do not just talk a good game. We “walk the walk” and have receipts reflecting our success in helping clients with an array of complex and challenging legal issues, including family-based immigration applications. Here is just one testimonial provided by a client-warrior highlighting how we work with clients and take the time to understand their concerns and objectives:
“My mother and I were in the search for a immigration lawyer to help with our case. We asked friends and they recommended us to Fernanda Bueno. They said nothing but great things about her services. We came to realize that what they said about her was all true. Fernanda is great, reliable person who you can definitely rely on. She helped my mother and I obtain a green card in a matter of months. Fernanda always replied to all my email and texts whenever I had small questions. She is awesome, sweet, and super professional.” — B.D.

Let Us Help You

Bueno Law strives to provide all of our clients personalized access. Why? Because we’ve been in the shoes of our clients. We are a team of immigrants, working on behalf of immigrants. We understand and empathize with our clients who may be feeling fear and anxiety about the immigration process. Bueno Law is here to help you through it. Contact us today to schedule a confidential case review. We have offices in San Rafael, CA  & San Diego, CA. You can also book an appointment by texting us on WhatsApp at (415) 754-0036


Contact Us

San Rafael

(415) 754-0036

San Diego

(619) 452-0855


Image by Morgan Lane
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