San Diego Immediate Relatives Visa Lawyer
Green Cards for Immediate Relatives
Each year, over 500,000 persons obtain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. by being sponsored by an immediate relative. The information here explains how you can obtain a green card through family members. U.S. citizens may sponsor relatives for lawful permanent residence including spouses, children, adult sons and daughters, parents and brothers and sisters. Note that, for immigration purposes, the father-in-law and mother-in-law of a U.S. citizen are not “parents” of the U.S. citizen.
U.S. Permanent Resident Limitations
U.S. permanent residents are limited to sponsoring spouses, children and unmarried adult sons and daughters. Except for spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens who are deemed “immediate relatives”, all other categories of relatives are subject to a numerically-limited preference system.
Immediate relatives, which include spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens, may immigrate to the United States on a family based petition. These relatives of U.S. citizens can immigrate to the United States without being subject to any numerical restrictions. This means there is no visa quota allowed under the immediate relative category, unlike other residents. Furthermore, immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen can apply for U.S. permanent resident status without any waiting time. This category has multiple advantages, since there is no limitation to the number of immigrants who may qualify under this category and, in most cases, visa numbers are immediately available for these individuals to apply for lawful permanent residence.
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a step-by-step process. Nobody, no matter how close the family relationship to someone in the U.S., goes straight from having no status to being an actual U.S. citizen. U.S. citizenship is reserved for people who have held a green card first, with the exception, in some cases, of people who have U.S. citizen parents.
- If you are a U.S. citizen, you can obtain a green card for your immediate family members, such as spouses, parents, and children.
- There are no quota restrictions for immediate relatives to either get a green card and they can become permanent residents in 6 to 12 months.
- If the relationship of your immediate relative through marriage is less than 2 years, the spouse and children will receive green cards for two years.
Immediate Relative Stipulations
If the immediate relative is a child, they have to be unmarried and under 21 years of age. If the parent is a U.S. citizen and files the I-130 petition for a visa before the child’s 21st birthday, their age is frozen at 20 years, even if the child will be 21 or older when they receive their green card. There are special rules if the child is a step-child or adopted.
If your immediate relative is your parent, you must be 21 years of age to sponsor them.
Process to Get Green Card Inside the U.S.
The process to get a green card if the petitioner and applicant are both in the U.S. involves the petitioner filing Form I-485 at the same time the applicant files Form I-130. Alternatively, if the petitioner has already filed Form I-130, the applicant can submit Form I-485 at any time as long as Form I-130 is pending or approved.
Process to Get Green Card Outside the U.S.
If the applicant lives outside the U.S., they can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when the Department of State schedules an interview for an immigrant visa after the USCIS has approved the petitioner’s I-130 form. The applicant then becomes a permanent resident upon being admitted to the U.S.
When Can I Apply for My Immigration Visa?
The Department of State will notify the applicant as to when they can apply for their immigration visa. The application for an immigrant visa must be submitted within one year after being notified by the Department of State or the petition may be terminated.
Hiring the best attorney for your immigration case can prove pivotal in your life, much like a marriage. A licensed lawyer is authorized and qualified to assist you with your immigration case or green card application. Unlike consultants, attorneys have completed extensive education and training before being licensed to represent clients. Just like a life partner, you want an attorney you can trust, communicate with, and relate to. Most importantly, you want an attorney who knows how to successfully proceed with your case so that you achieve the desired outcome. While many legitimate community and religious organizations provide immigration-related services, there are those who advertise as legal “consultants” or “notarios publicos” but are not authorized or qualified to help with immigration law-related matters. You face a big challenge, the power of the United States government. Don’t face it alone. Contact a San Diego Immediate Relatives Visa Lawyer at Superior Immigration Lawyers.