U.S. Citizen Petition for a Preference Relative to Become a Lawful Permanent Resident
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may be able to apply for certain family members to become a lawful permanent resident (get their Green Card). Becoming a lawful permanent resident is a two-part process which includes the petition you file for your relative (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) and your relative’s application for adjustment of status (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) or an immigrant visa through the Department of State.
As a U.S. citizen, you may file for the following “preference” relatives:
Your unmarried sons or daughters over 21 years of age;
Your married sons or daughters (any age); and
If your qualifying relative currently resides in the United States and wants to apply for lawful permanent resident status, he or she may apply when a visa is available. See our Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status page and visit the Department of States Visa Bulletin page for more information.
If your qualifying preference relative is abroad, he or she will apply for an immigrant visa through the Department of State after your petition is approved. See the Consular Processing page for information about how to apply for a Green Card as a preference relative.
How to File
You may file Form I-130 to petition for your relative online or by paper.
Create a USCIS online account to file online and:
- Submit evidence and pay fees electronically;
- Receive case status updates about your case and see complete case history;
- Communicate with us securely and directly; and
- Respond to Requests for Evidence.
If you already have a USCIS online account, sign into your account to get started.
File by Paper
- Read the instructions for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative;
- Complete and sign your Form I-130;
- Pay the filing fees if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
After You File
Once we receive your form, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your petition;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.
If your relative resides abroad and we approve your Form I-130, the National Visa Center will contact your relative for additional information.
Under U.S. law, every person who immigrates based on a relative petition must have a financial sponsor. Relatives in the United States who wish to complete the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident may also need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA.
Forms and Fees
Use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee