Family Green Card
In the United States, the most common way of obtaining immigration benefits is through family based immigration, which is an immigrant Visa petition filed by a relative that is either a U.S. Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident.
U.S. Citizens can sponsor a spouse, parent, a married or unmarried child, or a sibling to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States and obtain a Green Card. Except in the case of a spouse, the U.S. Citizen petitioners must be at least 21 years old to file an immigration petition for a relative. A U.S. Citizen can also file an immigrant Visa petitions for a Fiancée.
A Green Card holder can only sponsor a spouse or unmarried children.
Petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are not subject to numerical limitations. Immediate relatives include:
- Spouse of a U.S. citizen (if the marriage is less than 2 years old, the immigrant spouse will be granted a Conditional Green Card)
- Minor Children of a U.S. citizen
- Parents of a U.S. citizen
Petitions for other relatives of U.S. Citizens and petitions filed by Green Card holders are subject to numerical limitations, and divided in the following categories:
- First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any
- Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children (F2A), and unmarried sons and daughters (F2B) of Lawful Permanent Residents. At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder is allocated to unmarried sons and daughters
- Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children
- Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children
All the Family-based immigrant Visa petitions are processed are the U.S. Consular Posts abroad, unless the beneficiary is already in the United States and can apply for Adjustment of Status.
The vast majority of immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens are eligible to get a Green Card through Adjustment of Status if they had entered the United States after being admitted or paroled by an immigration officer, no matter what their current immigration status is.
Hire an Immigration Lawyer
As a New York Immigration Attorney, I have helped over a hundred U.S. Citizens file immigrant Visa petitions for their relatives.
The immigration process starts with the filing of Form I-130 by the U.S. Citizen of Lawful Permanent Resident petitioner. Although the I-130 is relatively easy to fill out, it is very important that the case is handled by an experienced immigration lawyer. If the petition is not filed correctly, or it is filed without all the necessary supporting documents, the USCIS might issue a Notice of Intent to Deny or even deny the case, and the beneficiary will lose the priority date, potentially causing years of delay and unnecessary stress.
I charge a flat fee in all family-based Visa petitions, and I routinely attend the Green Card interviews scheduled in the USCIS office in New York and New Jersey. Please fill out an evaluation form if you would like me to review your case free of charge. You can also contact me to schedule a free initial consultation in my New York City office.