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How do I get a Green Card for my family members?


When U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents petition for their family members to come and live in the United States, they are filing what is known as an “immigrant visa” application. The law allows a certain number of family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to become lawful permanent residents (get a Green Card) each year based on specific family relationships.

If your family member lives outside the United States then the process is called consular processing where the green card is obtained through the US embassy or consulate in your family member's country, which is closest to their residence. 

If your family member is in the United States in a valid status and applies for a green card then the process is called adjustment of status. Of course there are other methods of obtaining a green card if you do not have valid status but you will need the guidance and expertise of an immigration lawyer as it can get complicated.

If a U.S citizen decides to sponsor an immediate relatives then the beneficiary will not have to wait for an immigrant visa. There will always be a green card available for such individuals.

So what are immediate relatives? The following individuals fall within this definition:

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen;

  • The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or

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

Who is considered as a child? Please read my blog titled "How to get a green card for your child"

There are categories for each type of sponsorship other than immediate family members. 

  • First preference (F1) - unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens;

  • Second preference (F2A) - spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;

  • Second preference (F2B) - unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents;

  • Third preference (F3) - married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and

  • Fourth preference (F4) - brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).


If you want to know the wait time for each of these categories you will have to read the visa bulletin which you can access in the menu on top or the following link USCIS Case Status and Processing Times.

In order to apply for the green card for an immediate family member you will need the following checklist:

1) Immigration forms filled and signed

2) Passport Copy of the 

For assistance with green cards for your family members, please contact us at the address below or fill out the contact link for a free consultation.


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