As a U.S. Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, you may be able to petition for a relative that meets the established guidelines set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The following relatives may qualify Husband or wife, Child under 21 years old, Unmarried son or daughter over 21, Married son or daughter of any age, Brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old, or Parents if you are at least 21 years old.
Frequently asked questions
What is the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident?
There is a series of steps that you must follow to become a permanent resident if you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident.
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must determine that you are eligible for a green card based on your family relationships such as son or daughter, wife or husband, or siblings.
- The U.S. Citizen or LPR sponsor must file and obtain an approved immigrant visa petition, Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, for you, the beneficiary. You must submit proof of your family relationship.
- Once the I-130 is approved, The Department of State National Visa Center would determine your visa preference and if there is an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you.
- For a beneficiary that is already in the United States and entered the country with a status such as a visitor or a student visa or any other status, you may apply for an adjustment of status by filing the I-485 form. If you are eligible, then you would be able to obtain temporary travel documents and work authorization. A beneficiary that is outside of the United States must go through the consular processing at your country of residence.
How do I know if I can obtain a green card or sponsor a family member for one?
The eligibility to obtain a green card or sponsor someone is as follow:
- Your relative in the United States must be a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident and must provide proof of their status.
- Your sponsor must be able to provide proof of income, showing that they can support you by filing an affidavit of support.
- If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, you may petition for Husband or Wife, Child under 21 years old, Unmarried son or daughter over 21, Married son or daughter of any age, Brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old, or Parents if you are at least 21 years old
- If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, you may petition for a Husband or wife or Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
How do I know my preference category?
The preference system is a method that USCIS utilizes to prioritize the visas available to immigrants. Because there is a limitation on the number of visas every year, the preference system determines which immigrants are a priority.
If you want to become an immigrant based on employment or family, if your visa is approved, you must wait until an immigrant visa number is available. Immediate relatives to United States Citizens such as parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21 do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available because an immigrant visa number will be immediately available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
The preferences are given as follow:
- First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
- Second Preference: Spouses of legal permanent residents, and the unmarried sons and daughters (regardless of age) of lawful permanent residents and their children.
- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses, and their minor children.
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses, and their minor children.
If you want to petition for an immediate relative and you are not sure if you qualify, give us a call for an evaluation of your case. We help many immigrants with their family petitions.