Law Offices Charles D. Soule Esq New York Immigration Corporate Entertainment Lawyer
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FAMILY-BASED GREEN CARDS

Many people become permanent residents (obtain green cards) through sponsorship by family members. The United States allows US citizens and permanent residents to petition for certain relatives to live permanently in the United States. You may be eligible to get a green card as:

  • an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen
  • one of certain specified family members of U.S. citizens 
  • a family member of a permanent resident 
  • a member of a special category 

There are two distinct paths through which you can get your green card. Many family members who are already in the United States may qualify for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States, which means they are able to complete their immigrant processing without having to return to their home country. Those relatives outside the United States or those who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States may be eligible for consular processing through a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad that has jurisdiction over their foreign place of residence.  

Immediate Relatives

You are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen if you are:

  • The child (unmarried and under 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen
     

  • The spouse (husband or wife) of a U.S. citizen
     

  • The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years or older)

Specified Family Members of US Citizens

You are a family member of a U.S. citizen in a category eligible for green card sponsorship if you are:

  • An unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a U.S. citizen
  • A married son or daughter (any age) of a U.S. citizen
  • A sibling (brother or sister) of a U.S. citizen

Specified Family Members of Permanent Residents

You are a family member of a permanent resident in a preference category if you are:

  • The spouse of a permanent resident
     

  • The child (unmarried and under 21 years old) of permanent resident
     

  • The unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a permanent resident

Special Categories

You may also be eligible to get a green card if you: 

  • Are a battered child or spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • Entered the United States with a K visa as the fiancé(e) or spouse of a U.S. citizen or an accompanying child
  • Obtained V nonimmigrant status
  • Are a widow(er) of a U.S. citizen 
  • Are born to a foreign diplomat in the United States

In most cases, the family-based green card process begins through the filing of an I-130 Petition by the US Citizen or permanent resident.  After the petition is approved, most family-based green card applicants are interviewed by the USCIS, after which permanent resident status is granted.  Specific requirements and conditions apply to each of the family-based green card categories – contact us if you have questions or believe you are eligible for a family-based green card.