One of the ways to obtain a US green card, or US legal permanent resident status, is to have an immediate family member petition for you. These family petitions are often referred to as “Adjustment of Status” petitions.
US family petitions for green cards are broken down into preference categories based on the status of the Petitioner (US Citizen or permanent resident applying for family member) as well as the relationship of the petitioner to the applicant.
For US Citizen Petitioners, their spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents are considered immediate relatives and therefore have special immigration priority. Although the petitioner and applicant must still go through the application process, it will be a much shorter wait than for that of a non-immediate relative.
US Citizens may also apply for a US family petition for their unmarried children over the age of 21, married children of any age, and brothers and sisters, but these petitions will take longer than the petitions for immediate relatives because the petitioner must apply through a “family preference category.” The US Congress has limited the number of relatives who qualify under the family preference categories each year, which is another reason why it may be more difficult and requires a longer wait time and application process than for that of an immediate relative of a US Citizen.
US permanent residents, or green-card holders, may also apply for a green card for their family members. A US permanent resident may apply for permanent resident status for their spouse and unmarried children of any age. Congress has limited the number of these visas available as well, so this may result in a waiting period before the green card for your family member becomes available.
If you are interested in apply for a green card based on a US family petition, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s immigration and international attorneys today.