Family-Based Immigration

Illinois Family-Based Immigration Lawyers

Experienced and Caring Guidance for Family-Based Immigration in Aurora and Kane County

For many throughout the world, immigrating to the U.S. is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. The opportunity to establish a new life in America and achieve greater successes makes the entire process worthwhile. Along the way, immigrants often face the heart-wrenching decision to leave family members behind in their country of origin. The USCIS allows for family-based immigration, but the process is complex and confusing. In addition, dealing with an unfriendly bureaucracy can be frustrating and intimidating, particularly if you are trying to navigate this process alone.

At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we understand the challenges immigrants face trying to bring relatives to America through the family-based immigration process. Our mission is to provide a powerful voice for those who can’t speak for themselves. For over a quarter century, we have provided skilled guidance to immigrants and helped bring families back together. Our attorneys are experienced, compassionate and dedicated to aggressively advocating for your interests. One of our lawyers is also a former attorney, examiner and instructor for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. We have an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of the USCIS, and we put our experience to work to help clients move their family-based immigrant visa petitions toward a successful conclusion.

Family-Based Immigration Overview

In order to petition a relative for a family-based immigrant visa, the relative must fall into one of the following two categories:

  • Immediate Relative
  • Family Preference Immigrant

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas

Your family member may qualify for an immediate relative (IR) immigrant visa if he/she is:

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen (IR1).
  • The child of a U.S. citizen who is not married and under age 21 (IR2).
  • An orphan (under age 16) adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen (IR3).
  • An orphan (under age 16) being brought to the U.S. to be adopted by a U.S. citizen (IR4).
  • The parent of a U.S. citizen that is over the age of 21 (IR5).

There is no limit to the number of IR family-based immigrant visas issued each year.

Family Preference Immigrant Visas

The second general category of family-based immigration is family preference. This category is for more distant relatives of U.S. citizens and certain relationships with lawful permanent residents (LPRs). Your relative may qualify if he/she is:

  • An unmarried son or daughter (age 21 and over) of a U.S. citizen and their spouse and minor children (F1).
  • A spouse, minor child or unmarried son or daughter (age 21 and over) of a lawful permanent resident (F2).
  • A married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and their spouse and minor children (F3).
  • A sibling of a U.S. citizen (age 21 and over) and their spouses and minor children (F4).

There is an annual cap on the number of family preference visas issued. This number varies each year, and there are certain limits for each specific category.

Because family-based immigrant visas issued in the immediate relative category are unlimited, the process is typically much faster than with family preference. Sometimes, however, there are ways to speed up the process. For example, if you are a lawful permanent resident and want to bring your spouse and minor children to the U.S., it might make sense to become a U.S. citizen. In this scenario, you would be allowed to move your application from the family preference to the immediate relative category.

The process and requirements for family-based immigrant visas are long and confusing and can be difficult to accomplish on your own. In addition, applications are sometimes denied based on technicalities. Our experienced and compassionate immigration and citizenship lawyers can help you navigate this complex process and reunite your family. Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., can help you finally begin your new lives together here in America. Contact us today at 630-907-0909 for a personalized consultation. From our offices in Aurora, IL, we represent clients for family-based immigration matters in Naperville, Oswego, Montgomery, Sugar Grove, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, DuPage County, Cook County, Chicago, and surrounding Northern Illinois communities.

Our Lawyers


We have some of the finest attorneys practicing today. They are recognized nationally for their skill and integrity. Each one is dedicated to helping people and to securing justice. Our different areas of focus are used collaboratively to provide comprehensive remedies and solutions. Contact one of us and we will all roll up our sleeves and work for you.

Our Office


We provide the experience, resources and facilities of a big-city firm without the inconvenience and expense of driving and parking in Chicago. Located 40 miles west of Chicago on the far west side of Aurora, we are easy to reach from anywhere in northern Illinois.