Green Card Through Family Members
We understand your wish to reunite with your spouse and children, but it is important to get solid legal advice early in the process. Entering the United States on the wrong visa or filing an incomplete petition could result in major delays or denial of entry.
Guiding You through a Complex Process
There are a number of different factors that affect who can sponsor family members for green cards — which represent lawful permanent residency in the United States — and how long the immigration process can be expected to take.
The basic guidelines are as follows:
- U.S. citizens can obtain visas for their spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents after what is usually a relatively short wait. Visas for adult or married children, brothers and sisters may take longer.
- Permanent residents can obtain visas for their spouses and children, but the process generally takes longer than if the sponsor were a citizen.
In some cases, it may be possible to obtain temporary visas for family members who are going through the immigration and green card application process. There is also a fiancé visa process for people planning to get married in the U.S.
United States Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents are able to file petitions for:
Immediate relatives of United States Citizens do not have to wait for a visa number to become available to file for a green card. This category includes:
- Parents (as long as the petitioner is over the age of 21)
- Unmarried children under the age of 21.
The only waiting period is the application processing time, which varies. Also, there may be additional time if the relative is out of the country as additional paperwork must be completed after the initial application is approved. When processed the petitioner and the beneficiary will have an interview with the USCIS to show they qualify.
The preference categories have waiting times that depend on how soon the visa becomes available. This is based on the filing date of the visa petition. The US State Department publishes a Visa Bulletin which shows what filing date has become current.
Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
(2A) Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one)
(2B) Unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.
We Will Evaluate Specific Circumstances
The immigration process is complex. It can take varying amounts of time and require different types of document depending on the exact family relationship, the country of origin and many other factors. It is always best to consult a lawyer before making any decisions or attempting to start the immigration process.
Attorney Crispin Lozano is highly experienced at handling a full range of family immigration issues. He will explain the complex process and ensure your immigration matter is handled correctly from start to finish. For a free initial consultation, call us at 1–877-456-9266 to discuss how we can help you reunite your family in the United States. You may also contact us online.