Green Cards Through Family Members
Each year, over 500,000 persons obtain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. by being sponsored by a relative. This page teaches you how you can obtain a green card through family members.
U.S. citizens may sponsor the following relatives for lawful permanent residence: spouses, children, adult sons and daughters, parents and brothers and sisters.
U.S. permanent residents are limited to sponsoring spouses, children and unmarried adult sons and daughters.
Except for spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens who are deemed “immediate relatives”, all other categories of relatives are subject to a numerically-limited preference system.
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This page is divided into the following topics:
- Green Cards Through Marriage
- Green Cards Through Adoption
- Child Status Protection Act
- Affidavits of Support
- Immigration Through A Family Member (USCIS)
- I am a US Citizen: How Do I Help My Relatives Become Permanent Residents? (USCIS)
- I am an LPR: How Do I Help My Relatives Become Permanent Residents? (USCIS)
- How Do I Get Green Cards for My Children? (USCIS)
- How Do I Adopt an International Child?
- How Do I Bring a Sibling to Live in the United States? (USCIS)
- How Do I Financially Sponsor Someone Who Wants to Immigrate? (USCIS)
- How Do I File an Affidavit of Support for a Relative? (USCIS)
- AILA Resources on Family-Based Immigration (3-20-13)
- How the Survivors’ Law Works (10-21-09)
- USCIS Revises Filing Instructions for Alien Relative Petition (11-30-07)
- USCIS Memo: Effect of Form I-130 Petitioner’s Death on Authority to Approve the Form I-130 (11-08-07)
- USCIS’ New Adoption Regulations (10-04-07)
- How to Obtain a Green Card Through Marriage
Immigrants who marry U.S. citizens are considered “immediate relatives” when obtaining green cards, freeing them from quota restrictions and allowing them to adjust their status to permanent residents.
- Green Cards for Family Members
U.S. citizens may sponsor their spouses, parents, children, and siblings for green cards while green card holders may apply for their spouses and unmarried children.
- Family Preference Categories:
Introduction to the family preference categories under under which U.S. citizens and green card holders can sponsor their relatives for permanent residence.
- Family-Based Immigration: Speeding up Your Case
How to speed up the process of family-based immigration, such as by changing preference categories, using alternate chargeability, and using the Child Status Protection Act.
- Recapturing an Old Priority Date, Seven Years Later (June 2012)
- Survivors Law Brings Visa Petition Back to Life (November 2011)
- The Inspirational Story of a Young Immigrant (June 2011)
- Immigrant Family’s Kafkaesque Ordeal (July 2009)
Proposed I-601 Waiver Processing Change
- USCIS Announces Final Rule to Support Family Unity During Waiver Process (1-2-13)
- Federal Register: Proposed Rule on Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers for Certain Immediate Relatives (4-2-12)
- Obama’s Immigration Proposal Gives Hope to Some in Limbo (1-9-12)
- New Waiver Policy Would Promote Family Unity (1-8-12)
- USCIS Engagement Regarding I-601 Notice of Intent (1-6-12)
- USCIS To Propose Changing the Process For Certain Waivers (1-6-12)
- USCIS Notice of Intent for Change in the Processing of I-601 Waivers (1-6-12)
- Easier Route to Green Card to be Proposed for Some (1-6-12)
- Obama Rule Would Let Undocumented Stay in the U.S. During Application (1-5-12)