Green Cards for Relatives
If you plan to obtain a green card through a family member or want to apply for a Green Card for your relatives, you may find this article helpful. To promote family unity, U.S. immigration laws allow U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents (Green Card Holders) to petition for certain eligible family members. These relatives can obtain immigrant visas to come and live permanently in the United States. If they are currently living in the United States they can petition for their Green Card. The process can take anywhere between 6 months to more than a year.
To qualify for the Green Card, you must be related to a US citizen or U.S. green card holder, namely:
- be the spouse of a US citizen or US green card holder; or
- be a child of a US citizen or in some circumstances US green card holder, unmarried and under the age of 21;
- be the parent of a US citizen (in this case, your child with American citizenship must turn 21 in order for you to receive a US green card.)
- be a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen (please note that under this category the immigrant relative may have to wait over 10 years before she or he can obtain a green card).
- To apply for a US Green Card for your next of kin, a US citizen must confirm his intention to be a sponsor of his or her relative after his arrival in the US or while he or she is in the United States, and also provide proof of the availability of appropriate funds or income.
What is the process for obtaining Family-Based Green Cards if the immigrant relative is in the United States?
Your relative is able to apply for a green card by submitting an immigration form I-130, Petition for an alien relative, if he is in the United States. The immigrant relative will need to submit the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, along with or separately from the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. There are other forms that you will need or may want to submit along with these two forms. For instance, Form I-765, application for work authorization, Form I-864, affidavit of support, and others.
If for any reason the US citizen is unable to file these applications with the next of kin together, then in this case, the process of obtaining a green card can be started in two stages:
- First, a US citizen must file an I-130 petition, Petition for Alien Relative, and a family reunification package with his next of kin. The immigrant applicant can then submit the form I-485. You would have to wait until a confirmation is received from UCSIC about acceptance of the Form I-130.
What is the process for obtaining Family Based Green Cards if the immigrant relative is outside of the United States?
In this case, the application process for a Green Card is executed through a US consulate in the country of a relative of a US citizen. You need to go through the following steps:
- A US citizen must file the I-130 petition with the USCIS.
- This petition must be approved, as a result of which an appropriate immigration visa will be granted to a relative of a US citizen at the U.S. consulate located in a foreign country.
- After completing the procedure for obtaining a US immigration visa at the US consulate, a relative of a US citizen may enter the US. He will receive his permanent resident status after entering the United States. Usually, in such cases, the green card comes by mail within 45 days.
It is very important. When entering the country, you must pay an immigration fee of $ 165. This fee is used by USCIS as payment for processing your visa documents and preparing the green card. To avoid delays in issuing the US Green Card to you, we recommend paying this fee after receiving your immigration visa.
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