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Family-Based Immigration

Family-Based Immigration

Detailed Information

Are you an immediate relative—a spouse, a minor child, an unmarried child or parent—of a U.S. citizen or green card holder?

Are you a married son or daughter (or a spouse or a minor child of theirs) of a U.S. citizen?

Are you a brother or sister (or a spouse or a minor child of theirs) of a U.S. citizen?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, this chapter might provide you with the information you need to get sponsored to reside permanently in the U.S.! Under the family-based immigration category a U.S. citizen or a green card holder may be eligible to sponsor his/her immediate relatives. Such relatives include a spouse, minor child, unmarried children, and parents. Also, under this category a U.S. citizen can sponsor married sons/daughters and siblings.

Current U.S. law allocates 480,000 green cards per year to numerically limited (i.e., including immediate relatives), family-based immigrants, with an established “floor” of 226,000 family-based preference immigrants. Through applying for the proper classification and following the steps outlined for that classification, you may be on your way to obtaining one of these green cards yourself!

Basics of a green card and what it means to have one

A lawful permanent resident (also known as a green card holder) is a foreign citizen who has been allowed to permanently live and work in the U.S.. A requirement for U.S. citizenship is having at least five years of continuous permanent residency status or three years if you have obtained your permanent residence through your U.S. citizen spouse. If you have a relative who is a citizen of the U.S. or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, and you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on their status; there are many steps that you and your relative must go through.

Please note: In many, if not all cases, it would be wise to seek the legal counsel of an immigration law attorney, whose expertise will guide you through the often complicated steps required to obtain legal permanent residency in the U.S. (i.e., a green card). A note from the author can be found at the end of this chapter regarding the services his immigration law office can provide you, if such legal counsel is required or sought.

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