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How to immigrate to the USA thanks to Family member (green card)?

Many people get Green Cards through family members.

Green Card for an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen

To promote family unity, immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them. There are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.

Get a Green Card While Inside the United States

There is a one step process and a two step process.
One Step Process - Certain people are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) while inside the United States. Your U.S. citizen immediate relative must file the Form I-130 for you and it must be either pending or approved. An immediate relative relationship allows you to apply on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Two Step Process - After you receive Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that the Form I-130 has either been received by us or approved, then you may file Form I-485. When you file your I-485 application package, you must include a copy of the Form I-130 receipt or approval notice (the Form I-797).

Get a Green Card Outside the United States

If you are currently outside the United States and are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when United States Center for Immigration Services (SCIS) works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition (when a visa is available).

You may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry. The Department of State will notify you when you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. If you do not apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification from the Department of State, your petition may be terminated.

When an immediate relative child of a U.S. citizen reaches the 21 years of age, he or she generally will become a "first preference" (F1) category son or daughter of a U.S. citizen, and will no longer have a visa immediately available. This change may result in a significant delay in adjustment of status or visa processing because he or she will now need to wait for an immigrant visa to become available.

If an immediate relative child under age 21 gets married, he or she can no longer be classified as an "immediate relative" and will become a "third preference" (F3) category. A visa would no longer be immediately available. You must notify us of any change in your marital status after Form I-130 has been filed for you and prior to becoming a permanent resident or obtaining an immigrant visa.

Green Card for a Family Member of a U.S. Citizen

U.S. citizens who want their relatives to immigrate to the United States can file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for their spouse, children and if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old, their parents and brothers or sisters.

If your relationship does not qualify you as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, then you may be in what is called a "family preference category". Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is usually a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.

Get a Green Card While Inside the United States

If you are currently in the United States and are one of the specified categories of relatives of a U.S. citizen in a preference category, you may be able to become a permanent resident in two steps.
Step One - The U.S. citizen family member (sponsor) must file the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you and it must be approved. You must wait for your priority date in your immigrant visa category to become current. Your priority date is the date when the Form I-130 is properly filed (with correct fee and signature) on your behalf by your U.S. citizen relative.
Step Two - Once the priority date in your visa category is current, you may file for Adjustment of Status with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Adjustment of Status is the process you go through to become a Permanent Resident.

Get a Green Card Outside the United States

If you are currently outside the United States and are one of the specified categories of relatives of a U.S. citizen in a preference category, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when we work with the U.S. Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. In this process the Department of State will issue you a visa. If approved, you may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry.

Green Card for a Family Member of a Permanent Resident

To promote family unity, immigration law allows permanent residents of the United States (green card holders) to petition for certain eligible relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. A permanent resident may petition for his/her spouse and unmarried child(children) 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. If your family relationship qualifies you as an eligible relative of a U.S. permanent resident, then you are in what is called a "family preference category".

Get a Green Card While Inside the United States

If you are currently in the United States and are one of the specified categories of relatives of a permanent resident, you may be able to become a permanent resident in two steps.
Step One - The permanent resident relative must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you and it must be approved. You must wait for your priority date in your immigrant visa category to become current. Your priority date is the date when the Form I-130 is properly filed (with correct fee and signature) on your behalf by your U.S. permanent resident relative.
Step Two - Once the priority date in your visa category is current, you may file for adjustment of status with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Adjustment of status is the process you go through to become a permanent resident.

Get a Green Card While Outside the United States

If you are currently outside the United States and are one of the specified eligible categories of relatives of a permanent resident, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when we work with the U.S. Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. In this process the Department of State will issue you a visa. If approved, you may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry.

If the permanent resident relative that petitioned for you becomes a U.S. Citizen, your preference category would change and a visa may be available sooner. This is because you would now be getting a green card as a relative of a U.S. citizen.

Green Card Through Special Categories of Family

You may be able to become a permanent resident through a special family situation. These adjustment of status programs are limited to individuals who meet particular qualifications and/or apply during certain time frames.

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Green Card through Family


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