Getting a Green Card for Your Family

U.S. immigration laws  have many different ways for foreigners to obtain legal residency in the United States. Family based immigration is one of the most popular routes that most people take.  Family based petitions are generally started by someone that is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder). This person will begin the process for their family members overseas or in the U.S.

Wait Time May Be Affected by Family Classification

USCIS has classifications for different family members, so when the petitioner is ready to file, they need to be aware of the different categories as it will affect wait times and next steps. Here is what the U.S. considers a relative for family immigration purposes: spouse, children, parents, and siblings. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins will not be considered as family members for immigration purposes. 

“Immediate Relative” family members of a U.S. citizen is the quickest, as they are usually not subject to a visa quota. Wait times usually entail waiting for processing and interview. Immediate family members include spouse, child(ren), and/or parents of the U.S. citizen. Siblings are also considered under family based immigration and these include biological, step-siblings, half-siblings, and adopted siblings. However, siblings are subject to the limited amount of visas each fiscal year. Certain countries will have a longer waiting period than others as their limits are quickly reached per year. Both of these categories require additional eligibility verification, but since each case is different the additional information can vary. 

If you have additional questions about family based immigration issues, please contact an experienced attorney so that you can discuss the next steps. 

Disclaimer: Information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for legal advice. Always consult with an attorney, as every case will be different.