GREEN CARDS FOR FAMILY & RELATIVES
This visa category permits the immediate relatives of United States
citizens to immigrate without waiting in a quota or preference line.
Mere marriage to a United States citizen or permanent resident does
not automatically create resident status in the United States. The
United States relative must file a petition on behalf of the foreign
relative, and the foreign relative must undergo an interview by
the United States government for admissibility to the United States
as an immigrant.
However, less immediate ties than a spouse or parent of a United
States citizen require that a person apply for his or her visa through
a series of categories which may or may not be current at the time
the person's application is approved. A United States citizen must
be at least 21 years of age in order to immigrate a relative.
There are FOUR basic categories of family preference:
- Adult sons and daughters of United States citizens
Spouses and adult sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents or Green Card holders
- Married children of United States citizens
- Brothers and sisters of United States citizens
A U.S. citizen can file the petition on behalf of his/her:
1. Husband, wife, or child under the age of 21
2. An unmarried child over the age of 21
3. Married child of any age
4. Brother or sister if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old
5. A parent if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years
Under INA 201(b) the U.S. Citizen's spouse, parent or child (under
21) is considered an Immediate Relative, and as such NO preference
quota is required. Furthermore, even under the tough new adjustment
laws, a United States Citizen may petition for his or her Immediate
Relative even if that relative has fallen out of status. The immediate
relative must have entered the United States legally however.
A lawful permanent resident can file the petition on behalf
1. Husband or wife
2. Unmarried child
A bulletin is issued by the United States Department of State (http://www.travel.state.gov/visa_bulletin.html)
showing the status of the various visa categories in relation to
the preferences for the worldwide countries which have not over-subscribed
the system as well as a breakdown for those countries which are
over-subscribed. There are varying waiting periods in these categories,
depending on the backlog of prior applications on a worldwide basis
and on a per country basis in the case of certain high demand countries.
These waits are unpredictable, and can change from month to month,
since the waiting line depends upon the number of people with earlier
priority dates on their approved applications who actually complete
the process when the time comes that the visa is available.
Phoenix based Arizona Immigration
Law Firm providing Immigration services in Phoenix, Arizona
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