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Green Card for an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen
To promote family unity, immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen’s:
Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.
For other qualified relatives that a U.S. citizen may petition for, see our Green Card for a Family Member of a U.S. Citizen page.
Get a Green Card While Inside the United States
One Step Process
Two Step Process
Get a Green Card While Outside the United States
If you are currently outside the United States and are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when USCIS works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. 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 on consular processing for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, see the “Consular Processing” link to the left under “Green Card Processes & Procedures.” The Department of State will notify you when you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. If you do not apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification from the Department of State, your petition may be terminated.
Things to keep in mind:
Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/30/2011
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