Family-Based Petitions for Permanent Residence or Green Card
The US immigration system is complex. Before starting an immigration application or petition it is important to understand a little about how the immigration system works.
The two most common means of obtaining an immigrant visa for permanent residence are Green Card through Family, based on petitions by qualified family members, and Green Card through Job, or based on employer petition.
Family-based immigrant visas are often petitioned through a US citizen spouse, parent, child, brother or sister but often are through a US citizen fiancée or a permanent resident spouse or parent.
A US citizen can petition for a husband or wife (spouse), a child, a parent, or a brother or sister.
Sometimes there is a wait for an immigrant visa to come available. A brief understanding of visa availability and priority dates is helpful.
Certain relatives of US citizens are considered “immediate relatives” and the immigrant visa is immediately available. A US citizen’s parent, spouse and unmarried child under 21 years are all “immediate relatives” and the immigrant visa is immediately available. A US citizen’s married child, unmarried child over 21 years or brother or sister are not “immediate relatives” and there is a wait for the visa to come available. A US lawful permanent resident can petition for a spouse and unmarried child of any age. A US permanent resident may not petition for married children, parent or brother or sister. Generally there is a wait for an immigrant visa petitioned for by a US permanent resident.
Immigrant visa wait times are published monthly in the US Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
When the intending immigrant is present in the US, the permanent resident process is often referred to as adjustment of status and permanent residence granted by USCIS and all processing takes place in the US. When the intending immigrant is outside the US, the immigrant visa process involves initially the USCIS for petition approval, and then the immigrant visa is issued through the Department of State at a US consulate (consular processing).
An important part of the adjustment of status to permanent resident (Form I-485) green card process or consular processing an immigrant visa is the intending immigrant’s "inadmissibility" which can result in visa denials.
A key focus on determining inadmissiblility (i.e., eligibility) is the required Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and the required supporting documents.
Gerald Goulder is an experienced North Carolina immigration lawyer helping families, individuals and businesses in North Carolina and throughout the United States and around the world with family-based immigration, permanent residence and green card matters, including marriage and fiancée petitions. US immigration law is federal law. This enables Goulder Immigration Law Firm to assist individuals and companies throughout the U.S. and around the world.
For solutions to your spouse, fiancée, parent or child immigration matter call immigration attorney Gerald Goulder at Goulder Immigration Law Firm (336) 808-1119 or ask him a question using this online email form: