Celebrating with family is what the holidays are all about. But when some relatives live overseas, the dinner table feels empty and the celebration isn’t as jolly. Did you know that there are ways to bring your family to the United States and even give them permanent residency? You no longer need to write to Santa to make this happen! If you’re a permanent resident, here’s what you need to know to bring you and your loved ones closer together.
Who is an Immediate Relative?
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, an immediate relative is someone who is:
- the spouse of a U.S. citizen;
- the parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age;
- an unmarried child under 21 years old of a U.S. citizen; or
- an orphan adopted/to be adopted by a U.S citizen
What are the steps in the “green card” process?
In the simplest expression, there are only two steps for a family member obtaining permanent residence for a family member.
STEP ONE:First, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident must file a petition to sponsor their non-citizen relative by filing the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This petition will have USCIS classify their family member as someone who qualifies as an Immediate Relative to immigrate.
STEP TWO:Once USCIS approves the petition, the family member needs to apply for permanent resident status. If the family member lives overseas, they will likely apply for permanent residence at a U.S. Consulate outside the United States and undergo a review process in order to obtain approval for permanent resident status. If the family member is currently in the U.S., then they may file an I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to become a lawful permanent resident without leaving the country.
**Because there are many legal factors and critical details that must be taken into consideration in this step of applying for permanent resident status, whether here in the U.S. or abroad, we strongly advise that you talk to your immigration attorney to get legal counsel on how to proceed. We understand that you care deeply for your family members and relatives and want to ensure that you take the best steps to avoid having their application denied or having them become inadmissible due to not having a full understanding of the law. **
What happens after my family member’s application for permanent resident status is approved?
Generally, if your family member is approved for permanent residence at a U.S. Consulate, they will be issued an immigrant visa by the consulate after going through the necessary procedures there and paying the required fees. If your family member is already here in the U.S., then usually after attending an interview with USCIS on the I-485 adjustment application and receiving a decision of approval, they will thereafter receive a green card. An immigration attorney will be able to provide and advise you on the full details and complexities of these procedures, including on next steps to take if a Conditional Green Card was granted based on marriage.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED FAMILY-SPONSORED IMMIGRATION LAWYER
If you or a family member are seeking to sponsor a relative for permanent resident status here in the United States, contact Dang Law Group. Our experienced family-sponsored immigration attorneys can help you determine and develop the immigration strategies that most appropriately fit your facts and circumstances. Our firm has an experienced legal team and the resources you need to achieve your immigration goals.
Call us today at 512-648-3378 to schedule an appointment for a consultation and case review. We look forward to meeting with you and help you reunite with the ones you love most.