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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.

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