As the basic unit of all persons, without which we would not be born, preceding each our basic education or knowledge, to whom loyalty even begins prior our ability to recognize either God or Country, and often the strongest bond tying each of us to another, the family inspires many different aspects of immigration law —- marriage, children, parents, persecution in society, discrimination, social practices, need to provide support, fleeing danger, seeking a home. Accordingly, there are many aspects of immigration law that are based or affected by the family relation.
Many of the bases for asylum are related to the family, sometimes persecution based on the actions of related family members, or the actions of an individual based on beliefs and hopes which are inspired by the family.
Asylum can also be a defense in a Removal Proceeding in Immigration Court, asserted to prevent the deportation of an individual who will face persecution if returned to their country of origin.
Each country has different rules for adoption and these rules are also controlled by international treaty, in particular the Hague Convention that sets standands and rules for countries. It is important to follow the rules to obtain immigration benefits for adoptions which take place in a foreign country.
Spouses, Parents and Children under 21 years of age form the core family unit, and as such have special status under US immigration law, either unaffected by normal visa limitations, or placed in special categories for processing.
Generally a person can become a US Citizen after five (5) years as a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). There are exceptions the most important being the spousal exception permitting the spouse of a US Citizen the right to naturalize after three years as an LPR if based on marriage to a US Citizen.