Family Based Petition

Family Based Petition

Every Immigration case is different. In an initial consultation the attorneys of Gomez & Douat, LLP will provide you precise and individual information based on your case and particularized situation. From there we will explain important issues like:

Which immigration laws apply?
Do I qualify for relief?
Is there a risk in applying for that benefit?
What happens if my case is denied?
Even if I qualify, what are the possible problems I can encounter with this application process?
Can I help or include a family member in my relief application?
And any other questions related to your immigration case!

To schedule your initial consultation in our office call us at (408) 780-1015 or visit our contact us page.


Family Based Petitions are based on the family relationship between either the US Citizen (USC) or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). These are affirmative petitions that the USC or LPR files on behalf of a qualifying relative; therefore it is not an automatic process.

Filing for a family member is a two-step process.

In the 1st Step– Immigration only determines whether the Petitioner is a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and that the relative falls into the appropriate relationship (note that grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are not listed in the chart below).

There can be a period of years or even decades between the two steps, depending on the country of origin and the number of annual visas available for a particular category.

In the 2nd Step– Immigration evaluates the eligibility of the immigrant relative for whom the petition has been filed in Step 1. Here immigration conducts a complete background check including running fingerprints, a medical exam, and often an in person interview. Some will be eligible to move forward with the second step within the US and have a local interview, others will only be eligible to move forward through consular processing, interviewing at the US consulate in their country of citizenship. It is at this step that many individuals run into trouble when they did not obtain an individual assessment of their case before filing.

Before moving forward with any application process, you should have the individual details of your case evaluated. Please visit our consultation page for more detailed information on how to schedule a consultation and a list of things to bring with you.

Family Based Petition Flow Chart


WHY SHOULD I OBTAIN HELP FROM AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY? CAN’T A NOTARY PUBLIC, IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT, OR MY TAX PREPARER COMPLETE THE PROCESS FOR ME?

It does not take a lot of skill to complete a form which is the only thing Notary Publics and even Immigration Consultants can legally do; the complicated part of immigration law is knowing whether or not you should and there are a lot of factors that go into making that decision which must be determined on a case by case basis and explained to you by a knowledgeable professional.

Under California law, only an Attorney with a valid license or a BIA Accredited Representative who must be connected to a BIA Accredited non profit organization can REPRESENT YOU in an immigration case.

Notary publics, Immigration Consultants, and others do not have the education or legal experience to be able to assess your case with immigration, and under California State Law it is AGAINST THE LAW for them to provide you with legal advice.

Applying for an immigration benefit is not easy, if you:

  • Entered the United States unlawfully,
  • Entered lawfully but your permission to remain in the US has expired,
  • At any point you have been convicted of a crime (including misdemeanors),
  • Had contact with immigration, ICE, CBP,
  • Been deported,
  • Entered with false documents,
  • Claimed to be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or a US Citizen (USC) in order to enter or work in the United States,
  • Have registered to vote, or
  • So many other particular situations or legal complications

It is possible that you may not qualify for the immigration benefit that you are seeking or that you will need to file a waiver(s) before you could be considered eligible.

With the knowledge and experience of an attorney licensed in the state of California on your side, you can avoid delay, legal complications, and headaches. At the Law Offices of Gomez & Douat, LLP, we will help you understand the legal process, which family members can be included in your case, the inherent specific risk of your case, and whatever alternative options for relief you have available. We will guide you through the entire process. Both attorneys, Rosa Gomez and Veronica Douat, speak fluent Spanish and have a combined experience of 8 years practicing law in California.


Here is some more helpful information directly from the California Department of State and the Attorney General’s Office. http://oag.ca.gov/consumers/general/immigration_consultants

And from USCIS/ Immigration directly: http://www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams

CA B&P Code § 6125

 §6125. No person shall practice law in California unless the person is an active member of the State Bar.

 §6126. (a) Any person advertising or holding himself or herself out as practicing or entitled to practice law or otherwise practicing law who is not an active member of the State Bar, or otherwise authorized pursuant to statute or court rule to practice law in this state at the time of doing so, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail or by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the person shall be confined in a county jail for not less than 90 days, except in an unusual case where the interests of justice would be served by imposition of a lesser sentence or a fine. If the court imposes only a fine or a sentence of less than 90 days for a second or subsequent conviction under this subdivision, the court shall state the reasons for its sentencing choice on the record.