Who Is Eligible for a Family-Based Green Card?

Whether you are already in America and hoping to bring your loved ones here too or you’re hoping to take advantage of a family-based green card to immigrate, it’s critical to understand the rules surrounding these tools. Family-based green cards are designed to help reunite families and provide a pathway for close relatives to live together in the United States. Here is what you should know about who is eligible for a family-based green card.

What Are Family-Based Green Cards For?

Family-based green cards are designed to bring families together and allow U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor certain relatives for immigration to the United States. The green card process involves the sponsoring family member, referred to as the petitioner, filing a petition on behalf of their relative, who is known as the beneficiary. The eligibility criteria for family-sponsored green cards vary based on the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.

Are They an Immediate Relative?

Family-sponsored green cards are divided into two broader categories: immediate relatives and family preference. The immediate relatives category includes close family members of current U.S. citizens, including spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents. There is no limit on the number of visas available each year for family-sponsored green cards, making the process quicker and more straightforward.

The family preference category is broader and covers more distant relatives. The different subcategories for family preference include:

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children
  • Spouses and unmarried children (under 21) of lawful permanent residents
  • Unmarried sons and daughters (21 or older) of lawful permanent residents
  • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, along with their spouses and minor children
  • Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, along with their spouses and minor children

How Does the Application Process Work?

If you want to apply for a family-based green card, you should submit a Form I-130 with the help of your immigration attorney. Every family member that you choose to sponsor will need a separate application. The details of the application process will vary depending on whether  your relative is already located inside of the United States or if they are outside of the country currently. By working with an attorney, you can make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Partner with an Experienced Immigration Attorney at The Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence

If you or a loved one are concerned about finding the right immigration lawyer for your case, choose an experienced firm like the Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence to give you the help you need.  Please give us a call at 443.352.3201. Skype and telephone consultation are both available to clients.

Contact Us

    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

  • Email: info@elawrencelaw.com

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