The most common method of immigration is through a family member petition. Some family relationships qualify the foreigner for an immediate green card (unmarried sons and daughters, spouses and parents of certain U.S. citizens).
To be eligible for a green card through an immediate relative:
- If the immigrant is present in the United States, they must have entered the United States with inspection at an authorized port of entry (such as a border crossing, airport, or port).
- The immigrant must not have committed, admitted to or have been convicted of certain crimes which would prevent them from attaining permanent residence.
- Must be otherwise eligible. There are numerous reasons why people may not be eligible, including unauthorized stay in the United states, prior deportation orders, and admissibility bars for remaining in the United States without authorized stay and then departing the United States.
Additionally, permanent residence can be attained through non-immediate relatives (including spouses, children and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents, married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens). However, in these cases additional eligibility requirements must be met, and visas are not immediately available. The waiting period to attain a green card through one of these non-immediate relatives can be many years.
If you are the immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder), set up a free consultation with our experienced immigration attorney so that we can evaluate whether you will be eligible to get your permanent residence in the United States and be on a path to become a U.S. citizen.