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Family Reunification for Refugees and Asylees: Navigating the Process

Explore the essential guide to family reunification for refugees and asylees, detailing the process, eligibility, and how the Do Law Office can assist in reuniting your family.

As a firm deeply committed to the complexities and sensitivities of immigration law, we at Do Law Office understand the crucial role family reunification plays in the lives of refugees and asylees. When individuals are forced to flee their home countries seeking asylum or refugee status in the United States, reestablishing the family unit becomes essential for their stability and integration into their new community. For children and spouses separated by circumstances often beyond their control, the legal pathways for them to come together are matters of heartfelt urgency and importance.

Our team at Do Law Office brings experience and a caring approach to navigating the labyrinth of immigration policies that affect families striving for reunification. With years of experience in family immigration and refugee resettlement, we diligently guide clients through petitioning for family members to obtain derivative refugee or asylee status. 

We acknowledge that every case brings distinct challenges, and we are well-prepared to manage all aspects. From document translations to notarization and interview readiness, we aim to alleviate the burden on families during this crucial transition period.

The fabric of our society is strengthened when families are united, and we are here to ensure that every step toward reunification is taken with competence and integrity. Our one-stop-shop service is designed to address all the complexities of the immigration process so that our clients can focus on the joy of reuniting with their loved ones.

Understanding Family Reunification

Family Reunification is a vital component in the immigrant journey, allowing refugees and asylees to petition for the presence of their family members in the United States. We at Do Law Office understand this process’s emotional and psychological benefits, providing a semblance of normalcy to family relationships and stability in a new country.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Refugee or Asylee Status Required: To be eligible for family reunification, the petitioner must have their refugee or asylee status approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition: An individual residing in the United States who has been granted asylum or refugee status as a Principal Applicant (PA) can submit a Form I-730.
  3. Limits to Derivative Refugee or Asylee Status: Relatives who obtain derivative refugee or asylee status through their connection to the PA are not authorized to submit a Form I-730 for other any family member. The privilege is solely for the Principal Asylee or Refugee.
  4. Timely Application Essential: To maintain eligibility, the petitioner must apply within two years of acquiring their refugee or asylee status, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  5. Definition of Eligible Relatives: According to USCIS, eligible relatives for family reunification include the petitioner’s spouse and their unmarried children under 21.

At the Do Law Office, we excel in discerning eligibility and aiding with the subsequent steps for family reunification based on USCIS rules and regulations.

Application Process

 The Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, is the primary vehicle through which these applications are filed. Documentation, such as birth certificates or an affidavit, is typically required to prove the family relationship. 

Refugees and asylees may also seek to reunite with their immediate family members through an I-130 petition, which permanent residents and U.S. citizens more commonly use. At the Do Law Office, our experience extends to aiding these petitions, ensuring each application is fortified with the necessary evidence to avoid removal proceedings or delays.

Fees and Government Involvement

 While no government fees are associated with the I-730 petition, clients should be prepared for potential costs associated with assembling and translating necessary documents. The Department of State may be engaged during the process, especially when the beneficiary needs to travel for an interview. It’s essential to stay informed about the latest from the Department of State and the USCIS to ensure a smooth experience.

In our role, we handle everything from translations to notarizations and stand ready to guide each family through their unique immigration journey with compassion and professional attention to detail.

Applying for Family Reunification: The I-130 Process

Step-by-Step Guide to the I-130 Petition

  1. Gather Necessary Documentation: Begin by collecting essential documents, such as proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and evidence of your familial relationship (e.g., marriage or birth certificates).
  2. Complete Form I-130: Fill out the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Ensure that all information is accurate to prevent delays.
  3. Submit the Application: Attach all supporting documents and submit your application to the appropriate USCIS office. A filing fee will be required, which you can find updated on the USCIS website.
  4. Attend the Interview: Once processed, both the petitioner and the beneficiary might need to attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy.
  5. Wait for Approval: After the interview, if all goes well, the application will be reviewed, and you will be notified of the decision.

Importance of the I-130 Form

The I-130 form is crucial as it is the first step in the legal process of bringing a family member to the United States, establishing the existence of a valid familial relationship. A successful I-130 form sets the foundation for the relative’s immigration journey, leading to permanent residency.

Legal Challenges and Solutions

When facilitating family reunification for refugees and asylees, several legal challenges may arise, and we at Do Law Office are committed to navigating these with utmost care and professionalism.

Long Wait Times 

One typical issue faced by petitioners is delays in processing. Data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) shows that the median processing time for Form I-730, used for refugee and asylee family reunification petitions, was 28.6 months in FY 2022. However, in FY 2023, this processing time has notably decreased to 14 months. Despite this improvement, the 14-month period still presents a significant duration for families to remain apart, particularly in urgent situations. 

Overcoming Inadmissibility Grounds 

At times, family reunification processes may be complicated by inadmissibility grounds. We strategically approach this by:

  • I-602 Waiver Application: Filing for an I-602 Application can be necessary for refugees with specific inadmissibility grounds.

Language Barriers  

Our team boasts a multilingual attorney proficient in Vietnamese, Spanish and English. This guarantees that clients receive information in a language they comprehend, eliminating language barriers that could hinder their understanding of legal procedures. Moreover, this practice aids in fostering trust between us and our clients.

In short, the Do Law Office handles every element of the immigration process. Our fluent multilingual team eases communication, offering a seamless, compassionate service with integrity for our client’s family reunification needs. Our experience allows us to tackle the complications inherent in the legal casework for follow-to-join asylees and refugees, advocating tirelessly for our client’s rights and reunion with their families.

Why Choose Do Law Office

At the Do Law Office, we understand the complexities and emotional weight behind every case of family reunification. As asylum seekers look to rebuild their lives in the United States, we are here to offer comprehensive legal services that cater to the unique needs of refugees and asylees. Our experience extends to handling immigration status adjustments granted asylum and guiding beneficiaries through the legal intricacies of reuniting with their families.

  • Comprehensive Immigration Support: We provide end-to-end assistance from translations to notarizations, interview preps, and representing clients in out-of-state interviews.
  • Multilingual Team: Our clients benefit from our multilingual services, which are crucial for overcoming cultural and language barriers. Our team includes a Vietnamese immigration lawyer who can assist clients with immigration matters related to Vietnam.
  •  Experience and Compassion: Our team boasts extensive experience managing refugee and asylee reunification cases with empathy, integrity, and unwavering commitment to safeguarding our clients’ rights.
  • Client-Centred Approach: We prioritize transparent communication with our clients. From the first consultation to securing permanent residency for reunited families, we expertly navigate clients through every stage, ensuring clarity on their choices.

With transparency, integrity, and a genuine caring approach, we commit to guiding our clients every step of the way. For refugees and asylees, we strive to be more than just lawyers; we are partners in your journey to bring your family together. Trust us to deliver a one-stop solution with the professional excellence you deserve.

Resources for Legal Support

In our commitment to helping families navigate the complex landscape of immigration law, we’ve identified several vital resources for refugees and asylees seeking legal support for family reunification.

Government and Non-Profit Resources

As a trusted law firm in Atlanta, we understand that achieving family reunification often requires leveraging government and non-profit resources. Refugees and asylees can access various forms of assistance, such as SNAP, Medical Assistance, TANF, or Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA).

  • SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • RCA: The Refugee Cash Assistance

These resources are essential for maintaining well-being during the immigration process

Start Your Journey With Us at Do Law Office

At the Do Law Office, we understand that family reunification can be fraught with challenges. Our commitment to supporting refugees and asylees through the immigration process is unwavering. With our comprehensive legal services, multilingual team, and access to critical resources, we are dedicated partners in helping families reunite and start a new life together in the United States.

We invite you to contact us at the Do Law Office for a personalized consultation. Our dedicated attorneys and legal staff are well-versed in the nuances of the immigration system and are committed to supporting families in their journey toward reunification. Reaching out to us is the first step towards bringing your loved ones together.

Contact Us


4500 Satellite Blvd.
Suite 1160
Duluth, GA 30096


Tel: 678-224-8940
Fax: 678-224-8967

4500 Satellite Blvd Ste 1160

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