U.S. immigration law allows certain foreign nationals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to become lawful permanent residents (get a Green Card) based on specific family relationships.
If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) based on your family relationship if you meet certain eligibility requirements. You are an immediate relative if you are:
- 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)
Other family members eligible to apply for a Green Card are described in the following family “preference immigrant” categories:
- 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).
Immediate relatives do not face waiting times for visa availability. Immediate relatives in the United States may qualify to file Form I-485 to adjust status. Preference relatives often face very long waiting times, due to strict annual limits on permanent immigration benefits. The length of the wait depends upon which family preference category is appropriate, as well as the country of origin.
Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family immigration law and will assist you determine the best option available to your family. Although each case is unique, we strive to achieve a timely and successful resolution for all of our clients. We are proud of our success immigrating family members through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the immigration court, and consular posts across the globe.