Family members of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) can obtain green cards based on the family relationship if certain other requirements are met. This is why it is important to have an experienced immigration lawyer to guide you through the process of obtaining a family-based green card. At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, we have experienced family immigration lawyers in Elmhurst who routinely help clients in this area to successfully obtain green cards for themselves or for their relatives.
To obtain a family-based green card, one must be a relative of a United States citizen or green card holder. However, not all relatives are eligible to get a green card on this basis. Rather, to be eligible, one must be in a close family relationship as defined under the law, and these are “immediate relatives” and “preference” relatives.
An immediate relative is an individual related to a United States citizen in any of the following close relationships:
To obtain a green card for a relative in any of these categories, the U.S. citizen would first need to file Form I-130 Relative Petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the relative is in the United States, the I-130 petition can be concurrently filed with Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status. If the relative is outside the United States, the I-130 will need to be filed and approved first before the relative goes through consular processing to apply for the green card.
It does not follow that a close relative in any of these categories automatically gets their green card approved. Rather, the relative can be denied a green card for any number of reasons. An experienced immigration lawyer such as we have at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan can find a way to overcome those reasons and still have the relative approved for the green card.
One of the benefits of applying for a green card as an immediate relative is that your application is processed much faster than applications for green cards filed under any other category.
Relatives of U.S. citizens who are not immediate relatives as described above or who are family members of Green Card holders can apply for a green card under what is known as the “preference” categories, which are as follows:
If you are in the Elmhurst area and have a relative you wish to sponsor for a green card, contact our office today and request a consultation.