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Practice Areas > Green Card
Family Based Green Card For Relatives Of Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)
United States immigration classifies certain relatives of U.S. citizens as Immediate Relatives which will then allow them to obtain a green card on a fast track basis. They always have a visa number availablefor them and hence do not have to wait in line for dates to become current. Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen's:
  • Spouse
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21
  • Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21)
Immediate relatives have special priority and do not have to waitin line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.

Get a Green Card While Inside the United States

One Step Process
If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen you are allowed to apply to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, i.e., apply to become a permanent resident at the same time your U.S. citizen petitioner files a Alien Relative Petition for your relative. This is called concurrent filing.

Two Step Process
On the other hand, you always have the option to file your application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status any time after your petitioner files an Alien Relative Petition as long as it has not been denied.

Get a Green Card While 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 USCIS works with the Department ofState to issue the immigrant visa at a Consulate abroad when a Visa becomes available. 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. Here, the beneficiary will officially become apermanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry.

Important things to keep in mind in Family Based Immigration:
  • Turning 21 years of age. 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 (over 21 years of age) 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.
  • Child Status Protection Act. In certain cases, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) may allow you to retain the classification of “child” even if you have reached age 21. Generally, your age is “frozen” as of the date your U.S. citizen parent files an immigrant relative petition for you.
  • Getting Married. 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 married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and a visa would no longer be immediately available.
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 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.

“Immediate relatives” of a U.S. citizen, defined as one's spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents, always have a visa number immediately available and are discussed in above under the title “Green Card for an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen.”

If your relationship does not qualify you as an immediate relativeof a U.S. citizen, then you may be in what is called a “family preference category.” Eligible relatives include:
  • Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21
  • Married child(ren) of any age
  • Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21)

Since there a numerical limit to 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

For information see above.

Get a Green Card While Outside the United States

For information seeabove.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).
For informationsee above.
  • Getting Married.
For information see above
information provided here is of general nature and should not be constructed as legal advice.matters in personal historyor a perticular situation may affect eligibility to recive immigration benfits in a perticular situation.Information is updated peroidically and may not be current at all time.