Going through the U.S. immigration system to obtain lawful permanent residency (green card) for a family member can be frustrating and often a daunting experience. At Minsky, McCormick, & Hallagan, we have family immigration attorneys who help clients in the Elgin area seeking to sponsor their family members for green cards or other immigration benefits.
To obtain a family-based green card, one must be in one of two broad categories under which these family-based green cards are processed and approved for those eligible, and these are “immediate relatives” and “preference” categories.
An immediate relative is an individual who is a close family member of a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, child, or parent. If it is a child, the child must be under the age of 21.
For those in this category, this is the best category under which one can obtain a green card. This is because, unlike all other categories under which one can apply and obtain a green card, there is no limit on how many green cards can be issued to family members in this category.
This means one applying under this category will not have to wait a long time, sometimes years, to obtain their green card, as is the case in all other categories.
If a family member is not an immediate relative, then they may qualify under the family preference category. This category includes the following family members:
If you are a U.S. citizen or green card holder and have a family member who meets any of the criteria above, you can petition for them to be given a green card. However, your filing a petition for the qualifying relative is only part of the process. If the petition is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the agency which processes these cases, then your relative will be eligible to apply for their green card based on the approved petition.
Where your relative applies for their green card when the petition is approved and how long it will take them to have the green card approved for them will depend on where the relative lives and applies. If they’re in the U.S. and are not otherwise required to leave the U.S. to complete the process outside the U.S., they can have their green card through a process known as “adjustment of status.”
If they are outside the U.S. or are required to leave the U.S. to complete the process, they would have to do this at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Your family needs legal guidance, and Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan can assist you. If you are in Elgin and have a family member you wish to sponsor for a green card, contact us today to request a consultation to discuss your case.