There are several different ways you can obtain permanent resident status in the United States. Many seek permanent resident status, otherwise known as a green card, to remain permanently in the United States. One of the two most common ways individuals apply for U.S. permanent resident status is through employment or family relationships. Keep reading to learn how you can obtain permanent residence through family ties and how an experienced Middlesex County, New Jersey Family Immigration Lawyer can help you navigate this legal process.
Is it possible to obtain permanent residence through a family member?
In the United States, you can obtain permanent resident status through a family member. However, you must be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. Essentially, you must meet the definition of an immediate relative to obtain a green card through a family relationship. You are an immediate relative if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a parent of a U.S. citizen (the U.S. citizen must be 21 years of age).
- You are the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
- You are an unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may obtain permanent resident status in the United States through the above-listed family members.
How do I apply for permanent residence through family ties?
Typically, to immigrate based on family ties, you will have to be sponsored by an immediate relative. The sponsoring U.S. citizen is required to file an immigrant petition, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If USCIS can establish the relationship between you and your relative, they can approve the petition and you can proceed to apply for permanent resident status by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. It is pertinent to note that if your family member qualifies as an immediate relative a visa is always available. However, certain relatives that do not qualify as immediate relatives may have to wait until a visa number is available before submitting their form to obtain permanent resident status. Furthermore, if your immigrant petition is approved and an immigrant visa number is available, you can apply for a green card in two different ways. Firstly, if you are outside of the U.S., you can apply at the U.S. Department of State consulate abroad. This process is known as consular processing. Secondly, if you are already present in the U.S., you can apply from within the U.S. You are not required to travel to your country of origin for the processing period. This process is known as the adjustment of status. If you are looking to obtain a green card, it is critical to retain the legal services of a skilled Middlesex County, New Jersey family immigration lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of the application process for permanent resident status.
Ultimately, U.S. citizens can help their immediate relatives become legal permanent residents of the United States. For more information on how to obtain a green card through your family relationship, speak to one of our determined and trusted team members. Our firm is committed to helping individuals obtain permanent resident status in the United States.