U.S. Citizen Petition for an Immediate Relative to Become a Lawful Permanent Resident
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may be able to petition for certain family members to become a lawful permanent resident (get their Green Card). Becoming a lawful permanent resident is a two-part process. You must file a petition for your relative (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) and your relative must apply for adjustment of status (using Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) or for an immigrant visa through the Department of State.
As a U.S. citizen, you may file a petition for the following “immediate relatives”:
- Your spouse;
- Your unmarried child under 21 years of age; or
- Your parent (if you are 21 years of age or older).
If your qualifying immediate relative currently resides in the United States and wants to apply for lawful permanent resident status, they may apply using Form I-485 at the same time or after you file Form I-130. See our Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status webpage for more information.
If your qualifying immediate relative does not live in the United States, they must wait until we have approved your Form I-130 petition before they apply for an immigrant visa through the Department of State. See the Consular Processing webpage for information about how to apply for a Green Card as an immediate relative.
Some immediate relative children may have already acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. For more information, see USCIS’ webpage on Citizenship and Naturalization: I am the Child of a U.S. Citizen. If your immediate relative child is already a U.S. citizen, they are not eligible for an immigrant visa and you should not file a Form I-130 on their behalf. Your immediate relative child may be eligible to apply for a U.S. passport. For information about applying for a U.S. passport, see the Department of State’s Passport Information webpage.
Widows or widowers of U.S. citizens should go to our Green Card for Widow(er)s webpage for information.
How to File
You may file Form I-130 to petition for your immediate 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, simply 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.
Want status updates about your case? Learn how to create a USCIS online account to stay informed.
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. 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.
Under U.S. law, every person who immigrates based on a relative petition must have a financial sponsor. You may need to file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA. See our Affidavit of Support webpage for more information.
Forms and Fees
- Form I-130
- Form I-485
- Form I-864
- Use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.