Many people become permanent residents through family members.  The United States promotes family unity and allows U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents to petition for certain relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. 

Green Card for a Family Member of a Permanent Resident:

A permanent resident may petition for his/her spouse and unmarried children of any age to immigrate to the United States.  Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.

Green Card for a Family Member of a U.S. Citizen:

U.S. citizens who want their relatives to immigrate to the United States can petition on behalf of their spouse, children and if the U.S. Citizen is twenty one years of age or older, their parents and brothers or sisters.  “Immediate relatives” of a U.S. citizen, i.e. spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, or parents, always have a visa number immediately available.

Other relatives in the “family preference category” include:

  1. Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21
  2. Married children of any age
  3. Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21)

Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is usually a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.

Green Card Through Special Categories of Family:

One may be able to become a permanent resident through a special family situation. These adjustment of status programs are limited to individuals who meet particular qualifications and/or apply during certain time frames:

  1. Battered Spouse or Child (VAWA)
  2. K Nonimmigrant (includes fiancé(e))
  3. Person Born to a Foreign Diplomat in the United States
  4. V Nonimmigrant
  5. Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.