Under the family immigrant visa process, an individual must first establish relationship. The immediate relative category is for spouses, parents and children of U.S citizens and is not subject to numerical limitations. Other categories are subject to numerical limitations and are divided into four preferences:

First Preference

Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S citizens

Second Preference

Spouse and Children of LPR’s (2A); unmarried sons and daughters of LPR (2B)

Third Preference

Married sons and daughters of U.S citizens

Fourth Category

Brothers and sisters of U.S citizens

The availability of visas are determined by priority date, which is the date the applicant initially submitted the application.

Marriage based Petitions

First, the marriage must be valid where it was celebrated. However, even marraiges may not be recognized if its contrary to the US public law such as polygamous or incestuous marriages. If any of the parties was previously married, ther must be a valid final divorce before they can petition for immediate relative status.

Conditional green card

Persons who have been married for at least two years at the time of applying for LPR status receive conditional resident status. Within the 90 days of the second anniversary of the grant of conditional status, the couple must file a petition to remove conditional status and submits evidence that the marriage continues to be valid. If the marriage is terminated, the non citizen may request a waiver if the marriage was entered into good faith and or if he or she will face extreme hardship if he or she is required to leave the United States.

Marriage is Removal Proceeding

If marriage takes place while the beneficiary is in removal proceedings, the family petition may not be approved unless the parties are able to establish with clear and convincing evidence that the marriage was entered into good faith. In other words, there is a presumption of fraud that the parties must overcome because of the timing of the marriage.

Parent

The child may petition for the parents U.S citizen only when he or she reaches the age of 21. The parent and child relationship needs to be established at the time of filing.

Child

A child is an unmarried individual under the age of 21. Child is further described as, legitimated child, adopted child, step child or orphan child. A child is considered legitimated where the father marries the mother or when the child is born out of wedlock is placed legally in the same as the child born in wedlock according to the laws of the land where the legitimation takes place, it must occur before his turns 18 and the father is the biological father.

Adoption is accepting the child of other as one’s own; adoption must be finalized before the child turns 16 years old. The law of the place of the adoption is controlling. The biological parent may not receive any benefits by virtue of their parentage.

For orphan child the biological parents must have died or abandoned the child, or if one parent is alive that parent must be unable to care for the child and release the child via writing for adoption.

A stepchild relationship exists as long as the parents marry before the child’s 18th birthday. The stepparent can petitioner for step child and the step child can petition for step parent. The relationship continues even after the parents divorce as long as the relationship continues.

Relations must be established at the time of filing the application.

Sibling

To qualify for this category as bother or sister of U.S citizen the person must have been a child and of a common parent. The relationship would have to be established at he time of filing. Petitioner must be age 21 or older.

We assist families of US citizens and Legal Permanent Residents to petition for certain family members. Assist with Removal of conditions petition, Renewal of green card, Re-Entry permit etc.  It’s not advisable to file the petition without the right counsel; contact us so you can have a competent counsel by your side.

Below are some examples of frequently asked questions by our clients:

How does a person get a green card?

You can become a permanent resident several ways, most individual are sponsored by family members or employer in the United States.

What is the difference between green card and permanent residence?

A lawful permanent resident is someone who has been granted the right to live in the United States indefinitely. Permanent residents are given what’s known as a “green card,” which is a photo ID card that proves their status. (But it is no longer a green.) … You do not have any rights to vote in U.S. elections.

How long does it normally take to get the green card?

Employment Based Green Cards are processed from 1 to 4 years depending on the wait time and yearly caps. Diversity Green Card winners are announced within 7 months after the initial lottery applications. Family based green cards are processed depending on the categories, wait time and yearly caps.

When can I renew my green card?

You should renew your Green Card if you are a permanent resident and your card is valid for 10 years and is either expired or will expire within the next 6 months. You may begin the renewal process by: Filing online Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

Is it hard to get green card?

Getting an employment-based green card can be difficult and time-consuming, and yet thousands of people get US green card through work every year.

Can I travel with my green card?

Even though you are now a U.S. resident, you will need to bring your foreign passport when traveling, for purposes of entering other countries. A U.S. green card is not sufficient by itself as a travel document, though it is enough to get you back into the United States

Can I leave the U.S while my green card application is pending?

Remember that you may not be able to travel outside the United Stateswhile your application for a Green Card is yet to be approved.  However, USCIS will allow you to travel while you wait for your permanent resident card, if you apply for and obtain an advance parole document.

Can I get deported after I get my green card?

Among the various crimes that can make a non-citizen of the United States deportable are so-called aggravated felonies. Someone who is in the United States with a visa or a green card (lawful permanent residence), and who commits an aggravated felony, can be removed or deported.

What is family based green card?

U.S. immigration law allows certain foreign nationals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to become lawful permanent residents (get a Green Cardbased on specific family relationships

What are the categories for family based Green Card?

If you’re a US Citizen, you may petition for the following relatives, as long as you can prove the relationships:

  • Husband or wife;
  • Unmarried child under 21 years old;
  • Unmarried son or daughter over 21 years old
  • Married son or daughter of any age
  • Brother(s) or sister(s), if you are at least 21 years old
  • Mother or father, if you are at least 21 years old;

Can I apply for my siblings as a US citizen?

In order to file an Immigrant Petition for your brother or sister, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years of age. If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, you are not eligible to sponsor your brothers or sisters for Green Card status. An immigrant visa number will not be made available soon after the petition is approved. The wait times depend on the home countries of the beneficiaries. 

As a US citizen can I sponsor my parents for green card?

Yes, for certain categories like parents, spouse and children, the green card processing time is much less as compared to other family-based green card applications. Depending on the service center you have filed with, it can take few months to several months. In most cases, the application is processed within 6 months.

Can I get a green card by marrying a US citizen?

Yes, As an immediate relative of a US citizen or permanent resident, a foreign spouse has easy access to permanent residency, compared to a non-related foreigner.

I’m a green card holder, who can I sponsor as a Legal Permanent resident?

  • Husband or wife
  • Unmarried child under 21 years of age;
  • Unmarried son or daughter over 21 years of age

Can a US citizen sponsor a cousin?

US citizens cannot sponsor their nephews and they can only sponsor their parents, siblings, spouses and children.

What are additional Categories for Family based Green card?

The following persons may also be qualified for green card;

  • A battered child or spouse of U.S citizen (VAWA)
  • Those who entered the U.S with K visa
  • V non immigrant status holder
  • Widow (er) of U.S citizen or permanent resident
  • Those born to foreign diplomats in the U.S
  • Asylee/Refugee

 

Why is my green card valid for two years?

You get a conditional green card valid for two years if your marriage is less than 2 years on the day you were given permanent resident status.

How do I remove conditions of my green card?

When you receive conditional residence status, USCIS will notify you of the conditional basis of your status, the requirements for the removal of conditions and what will happen if you fail to file a petition to remove conditions .

You and your spouse must apply together during the 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident.

What happens if I fail to file petition to remove the conditions?

If you don’t apply to remove the conditions in time, you could loose your conditional resident status and put in removal processing.

What if I file for the removal of conditions too soon?

If you apply earlier than 90 days before your conditional residence status expires, the application will be sent back to you.

Can I include my children in the application?

Your children may be included if they got the conditional resident status at the same time that you did or within 90 days.

What happens when my green card expires and I’ve filed I-751 on time?

If you file USCIS form I-751 on time, USCIS will extend your conditional resident status for up to 12 months while your petition is pending.

Can the jointly filing requirement for I-751 be waived?

Yes, the requirement could be waived under certain circumstance, please call us for the waiver options.

I’ve a green card and I need to travel for more than a year but less than 2 years outside the US?

If your trip duration is more than a year and less than 2 years than re-entry permit is needed to enter the US. Permanent residents must be present in the United States at the time of filing the application and take finger printing if required.

How can you’re office help me?

Our office will review your case and advice you on the family members you can sponsor. After initial evaluation we give you a checklist of documents and prepare your application, which is submitted to the government with correct filing fee and the right supporting documentation. You’re on your side through out the process.