Green Card Through Family
An individual can obtain Green card by being sponsored by a family member who is either a US citizen or a Green card holder.
U.S. citizens may sponsor spouses, children, adult sons and daughters, parents and brothers and sisters for lawful permanent residence: U.S. Green Card holders can sponsor spouses, children (below 21) and unmarried adult sons and daughters.
Other than spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens who are deemed “immediate relatives” and are eligible for immediate Green card, all other categories of relatives are subject to an annual numerically-limited quota.
We assist in the entire Green Card process in all the categories, including filing of Immigrant petition (I-130) filing and filing of Adjustment of Status (I-485) for employee and his/ her family members, if already in the US, or help through the National Visa Center and consular processing.
Following are the major categories of Family based Green card:
· Immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older)
· Family member of a U.S. citizen (unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21, married children of any age, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older)
· Family member of a green card holder ( spouses and unmarried children of the sponsoring green card holder)
· Member of a special category
Green Card for an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen
U.S. citizens may petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen’s:
· Unmarried child under the age of 21 and
· Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21).
Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.
To obtain a green card based on recent marriage, the couple have to establish that their marriage is bona fide. If the marriage is less than two years old when the green card is granted, the spouse of US citizen is usually granted a conditional Green card which has a two-year time limit. Within 90 days prior to the expiry of the conditional Green card, the couple must submit form I-751 to remove the condition and for the foreign-born spouse to obtain a permanent green card. If for any reason the couple divorce before the end of the two-year period, the conditional resident spouse must use form I-751 to apply for a “good faith marriage waiver” of the joint petition requirement for removal of the condition and obtain permanent green card.
Green Card for a Family Member of a U.S. Citizen
If the family member of the U.S. citizen is not an immediate relative (i.e. , Spouse, Unmarried child under the age of 21 or a Parent) then the U.S. citizen may still be able to sponsor them via what is called a “family preference category.” Eligible relatives include:
· Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21
· Married children of any age
· Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21)
The number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year is limited, so there is usually a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.
Green Card for a Family Member of a Permanent Resident
Green card holders may petition for certain eligible relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. A Green card holder may petition for his/her spouse and unmarried child(ren) of any age to immigrate to the United States. Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is generally a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.
Green Card Through Special Categories of Family
An individual may be able to become a permanent resident (get a green card) through a special family situation. These special categories are limited to individuals who meet particular qualifications and/or apply during certain time frames. These include :
· Battered Spouse or Child (VAWA)
· K Nonimmigrant (includes fiancé(e))
· Person Born to a Foreign Diplomat in the United States
· Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen