Understanding Your Options for Family Based Green Card

Family Based Green CardAre you a family member of a US citizen? If yes, you may qualify for a family based Green Card. But not all the family members of US citizens will be granted Green Cards and only the qualified relatives will become eligible for US Green Cards. Hence, how soon you will become a Green Card holder depends on your relationship and whether your relative is a US citizen or a permanent resident and also depends on your home country. Similarly, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, must be filed by the sponsor for the beneficiary.

You may qualify for a US Green Card if your immediate relative is a US citizen. Relatives of US citizens who belong to the preference categories also may become eligible for US Green Cards. Hence, spouses, siblings, parents and the children of US citizens, may become eligible for family based Green Cards. Nevertheless, siblings and married children of US citizens will have to wait for a long time to immigrate to America whereas the spouses, unmarried minor children and parents of US citizens can immigrate sooner as the petitions filed on their behalf will be processed sooner.

Likewise, if your immediate relative is a permanent resident of the United States, you may qualify for a Green Card but the immediate relatives of permanent residents will be put on waiting lists and they need to wait for a long time to immigrate to America. If you are in the United States while your family member files an immigrant petition for you, you may qualify for adjustment of status. However, you need to go through consular processing and apply for an immigrant visa, if you are in your home country. This applies to the qualified relatives of both the US citizens and the Green Card holders but the waiting times may differ and the immediate relatives of US citizens alone can file for adjustment of status or for immigrant visas as soon their US citizen immediate relatives file Form I-130, for them. The other relatives will have to wait until the USCIS processes the immigrant petitions filed for them.

Citizens of foreign countries can also obtain Green Cards based on employment or through Green Card lottery and to obtain these types of Green Cards, they need to have the required work experience and educational qualification. But your educational qualification and your work experience may not affect the family based immigrant petition filed for you. Similarly, your spouse and your minor children also can immigrate with you as derivatives, if you qualify for a US Green Card under the family preference category. However, your Green Card will be revoked, if you misuse it, if you commit crimes or if you fail to abide by the immigration laws. If you live in the United States successfully for five long years, you may become eligible for US citizenship, if you meet the key criteria for US citizenship.

8 thoughts on “Understanding Your Options for Family Based Green Card”

  1. Dona Maria Avanzado

    Beneficiaries of immigrant visa petitions will not be issued non-immigrant visas. So your sibling cannot get a visitor visa to temporarily visit the United States while Form I-130 is pending.

  2. Once you (US citizen) file for a green card for your sibling (over 21yrs, based in home country), can your sibling still visit You in the US on a visit visa as easily while the green card processing is yet to be completed? I.e. is there a conflict of interest on one end that u apply for an immigrant visit and then want to visit the country on a temporary tourist/ visit visa ?

  3. My daughter was married to a US citizen for a year with a son and he was based in Kuwait. They lived together for 4 years but before her husband can work for their petition, he died of a heart attack. Can my daughter worked for her papers so she can come to the US due to hardship she’s undergoing in the Philippines. What benefits can they have (my daughter and her son) for being married to a US citizen?

  4. Dona Maria Avanzado

    Yes a US citizen can file a petition for his brother or sister under the “family preference category”. But the US citizen must be above age 21 to a file petition for a Green Card for his brother/sister.

  5. can a U.S Citizenship file a petition for his brother(s) or sister(s) of foreign countries?

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