Mark Panzavecchia

Criminal Attorney

Former Prosecutor

Legal Analyst

Channel 7

Eyewitness News


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Nassau County Immigration Attorney


Immigration laws are complicated and can create barriers to bringing loved ones to the United States due to their complexity as well as the priority assigned to different classes of family members. A United States citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder), you can petition to bring family members from abroad into the country. However, there are only certain family members that are eligible, and some family members have priority over others. New York family based immigration lawyer Mark Panzavecchia can assist you in navigating the complex process of helping your family members immigrate to the United States.


Who is Eligible for Family-Based Immigration?


Immediate relatives include the parents, spouses and unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens. Family members who may be eligible for family-based immigration fall into two categories: immediate relatives and preference relatives. Immediate relatives have an immediate right to apply for U.S. permanent residence after their U.S. family member begins the process on their behalf.


Preference relatives are the married children, adult children and siblings or U.S. citizens, and the unmarried children and spouses of green card holders. There are age requirements in place for U.S. citizens seeking to sponsor a relative for immigration. Preference relatives typically need to wait to get their green card, as only a certain amount of green cards are available each year. They also must wait in line based on their priority date (the date their U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner first filed the visa petition). For more information about sponsorship requirements, speak with knowledgeable New York immigration attorney Mark Panzavecchia.


The Application Process


There is a multi-step application process to bringing a family member into the United States from abroad. A United States citizen or green card holder must start the process by submitting a visa petition for his or her family member. The family member will not be able to legally enter the United States until both the petition and all subsequent applications have been approved.


The visa petition is meant to prove that a citizen or permanent resident has the right and ability to sponsor a family member to immigrate to the U.S. based on their relationship. Therefore, proof of your relationship, such as a birth certificate, must be included with the application. Additionally, evidence of residency status, such as a green card must be included. Once the visa petition is approved, preference relatives will be placed on a waiting list. Immediate relatives will be able to move forward with submitting a green card application.


New York Family-Based Immigration Lawyer


For more information regarding the family-based immigration process, contact New York family-based immigration attorney Mark Panzavecchia at 516-766-9494 to schedule your free consultation.

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Panzavecchia & Associates





Mark Panzavecchia is a current adjunct professor of law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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Mark Panzavecchia serves as legal counsel for the New York Latino Police Officers Association

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