Green Card for a Family Member of a Permanent Resident
To promote family unity, immigration law allows permanent residents of the United States (green card holders) to petition for certain eligible relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. A permanent resident may petition for his/her spouse and unmarried child(ren) of any age to immigrate to the United States. Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is generally a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available. If your family relationship qualifies you as an eligible relative of a U.S. permanent resident, then you are in what is called a “family preference category.”
Get a Green Card While Inside the United States
If you are currently in the United States and are one of the specified categories of relatives of a permanent resident, you may be able to become a permanent resident in two steps.
Get a Green Card While Outside the United States
If you are currently outside the United States and are one of the specified eligible categories of relatives of a permanent resident, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when we work with the U.S. Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. In this process the Department of State will issue you a visa. If approved, you may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry. For more information, see our consular processing page.
Things to keep in mind:
Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/29/2013
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