Green cards for family members dominate the U.S. immigration system.
Each year, over 500,000 persons obtain lawful permanent residence in the US by being sponsored by a relative who is a US citizen or a green card holder. We provide videos and links explaining how you can obtain a green card through one of the family-based preference categories.
US citizens may sponsor the following relatives for lawful permanent residence: spouses, children, adult sons and daughters, parents and brothers and sisters. Permanent residents are limited to sponsoring spouses, children and unmarried adult sons and daughters.
Except for spouses, children and parents of US citizens who are deemed “immediate relatives”, all other categories of relatives are subject to a numerically-limited preference system.
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However, from July 2019 to the end of 2019, green card holders can sponsor their spouses and unmarried minor children for I-130s and if the spouse/children are in the US and are otherwise eligible, they can file I-485 applications for adjustment of status in 2019.
The process of sponsoring a relative for permanent residence starts when the US citizen or lawful permanent resident in the US submits an I-130 visa petition to the USCIS. Assuming that the I-130 is approved by the USCIS, this creates a priority date, or a place in line, for their relative, and his or her family, to immigrate to the US.
You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin and other immigration news by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.
Green Cards for Family Members is divided into the following topics:
- Green Cards Through Marriage
- Green Cards for Immediate Relatives
- Green Cards Through Adoption
- Green Cards for Brothers and Sisters
- Green Cards for Parents
- Green Cards for Unmarried Sons/Daughters of US Citizens
- Green Cards for Married Sons/Daughters of US Citizens
- Green Cards for Spouse and Children of LPRs
- Green Cards for Widow(er)s of US Citizens
- Child Status Protection Act
- Affidavits of Support
Videos – Green Cards For Family Members
- How to Obtain a Green Card Through Marriage Immigrants who marry US citizens are considered “immediate relatives” when obtaining green cards, freeing them from quota restrictions and allowing them to adjust their status to permanent residents.
- Green Cards for Family Members US citizens may sponsor their spouses, parents, children, and siblings for green cards while green card holders may apply for their spouses and unmarried children.
- Family Preference Categories: An Introduction Introduction to the family preference categories under under which US citizens and green card holders can sponsor their relatives for permanent residence.
- Family-Based Immigration: Speeding up Your Case How to speed up the process of family-based immigration by changing preference categories, using alternate chargeability and the Child Status Protection Act.
Success Stories : Green Cards for Family Members
- Daughter Reunited with Ailing Mother through Humanitarian Parole
- Turning Around a Green Card Denial – Part 2
- Turning Around a Green Card Denial – Part 1
- Keeping a Family United through CSPA
- When You’re Lost in the Rain in Juarez
- Recapturing an Old Priority Date, Seven Years Later
- Survivors Law Brings Visa Petition Back to Life
- The Inspirational Story of a Young Immigrant
- Immigrant Family’s Kafkaesque Ordeal
General Information – Green Cards For Family Members
- Family-Based Immigrant Visas (State Department)
- I am a US Citizen: How Do I Help My Relatives Become Permanent Residents? (USCIS)
- I am an LPR: How Do I Help My Relatives Become Permanent Residents? (USCIS)
- How Do I Get Green Cards for My Children? (USCIS)
- How Do I Bring a Sibling to Live in the United States? (USCIS)
- How Do I Financially Sponsor Someone Who Wants to Immigrate? (USCIS)
- How the Survivors’ Law Works
Green Cards For Family Members: Additional Resources
- AAO Non-Precedent Decisions on Petition for Alien Relative (Adam Walsh Act Only)
- AAO Non-Precedent Decisions on Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative
- AAO Non-Precedent Decisions on Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition
Green Cards for Family Members: Practice Advisories
- Mandamus Actions: Avoiding Dismissal and Proving the Case (03-08-17)
- Practice Tip: Mandamus May Get Results When Nothing Else Works (9-14-16)
- Practice Tip: Responding to a Request for Evidence (5-25-16)
What Can We Help You With - Videos
Green Cards through Employment
Green Card through Marriage
Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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