Green Card Through Marriage:

You may apply for a green card through marriage if you are married to a U.S. citizen. After marrying your U.S. citizen spouse, you may be able to file Form I-130 and I-482 concurrently in order to receive lawful permanent residence. It should be emphasized that USCIS takes “sham” marriages very seriously. The smallest of mistakes or lack of evidence can result in a denial of your application, or even cost you to lose your priority date and wait in line again for many years.

If you would like help in filing for your spouse, please do not hesitate to contact us for quotes and advice.

Green Card Through a Family Member:

A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. In order to become an LPR based upon a familial relationship with a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, there is a multi-step process.

First, the USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition Form I-130, filed by the U.S. Citizen or LPR relative (sponsor). Second, the Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to the foreign national, even if he/she is already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number becomes available, it means that the individual can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to him/her. Information pertaining to visa availability can be found in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.

Third, if the individual is already in the U.S., he/she may apply for adjustment of his/her status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available. If the individual is outside the U.S. when an immigrant visa number becomes available, he/she will be contacted by the Department of State’s National Visa Center to complete the processing.

Categories of aliens eligible for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship:

  • The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. They do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by the USCIS. Generally they qualify for adjustment of status in the United States even if they have violated their status, as long as they can prove that they have entered legally in the United States (exceptions apply).

The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for a visa number to become available according to the following preferences:

  • First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
  • Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

Contact us to see if a family-based green card is the best option for you and your family.

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