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How to request the Green Card for family members

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In order to help to maintain the integrity of the family, the Immigration Act allows permanent residents to apply for the Family Sponsored Green Card. However, the number of family members who can immigrate annually under the category of family members is limited by the Congress. This means that there is generally a period of wait before a number of migrant Visas is available.

The family applications by a permanent resident of the United States are given second priority and are classified in the following manner:

2A for spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age

2B for single children over 21 years old

Approximately 114,600 of these Visas are granted annuallyfamily-775059_960_720

Below, we describe the steps required to obtain the Family Sponsored Green Card for the kinship of a permanent resident, which belong to the category of second priority.

Steps to obtain the Green Card for the kinship of a permanent resident

If the beneficiary is in the U.S.A.

First step:

The permanent resident must present the I-130 Form, Application for Alien Relative. If approved, you must wait until the priority date is updated in the corresponding Visa category. Said date corresponds to the date the I-130 Form was correctly presented (with the correct fee and signature).

Second step:

Once the priority date for your Visa category has been updated, you may request the adjustment of your status presenting the I-485 Form, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The Status Adjustment is the proceeding you must follow to become a permanent resident.

The beneficiary is outside of the U.S.A.

The residence will be obtained through a consular proceeding. In this case, USCIS works with the Department of State of the U.S.A. to issue the Visa based on the approval of an I-130 form, when a Visa is available. Once the proceeding is approved and the Visa is granted, you can travel with the Visa and become, officially, a permanent resident from the moment you are admitted at a port of entry of the U.S.A.

Take into account that:

  • If you are the unmarried children of a permanent resident, once you turn 21 years of age you may delay the process to obtain the permanent residence or a migrant Visa. You no longer qualify as category 2A, but the status is changed to 2B. Said change may cause a significant delay in the availability in the migrant Visa.
  • If the unmarried child of a permanent residence gets married before becoming in permanent resident, they will no longer qualify for the permanent Visa through the family member who is a permanent resident. There is no Visa category for the married child of a permanent resident.
  • If the family member with the permanent residence obtains the American citizenship, the priority category will change and the Visa may be more readily available.

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