FAMILY MEMBERs OF GREEN CARD HOLDERS
Lawful U.S. Permanent Residents may petition for their spouses and unmarried children of any age, to immigrate to the United States if they otherwise qualify.
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As a green card holder (lawful permanent resident), you are allowed to petition for certain family members to immigrate to the United States. A permanent resident can petition for his or her spouse and unmarried children of any age to come and live in the U.S. permanently. There is a limited number of these visas allotted each year by Congress, so there is often a long waiting period for a visa number. If your family member qualifies under this family preference category, you can file a petition for them if they are already in the U.S. lawfully or if they are still overseas.
Related form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
Who is Eligible?
If the family member qualifies for this immigrant visa, he or she falls into the Second Family preference category (F2). This category includes spouses of U.S. permanent residents and their unmarried children of any age.
There are a few scenarios that could affect eligibility under the F2 category:
- Turning 21-years old. Turning 21-years old could significantly delay your obtaining an immigrant visa. At that age, you will no longer be considered an “unmarried child”, or F2A, and will transfer to the subcategory of “unmarried son or daughter”, referred to as F2B. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) may apply to you and allow you to maintain your eligibility for the F2A category.
- Getting married. If you marry before you become a lawful permanent resident, you will no longer qualify as an unmarried child of a permanent resident. There is no immigrant visa category for married children of permanent residents.
- The permanent resident family member becomes a U.S. citizen. This could work to the advantage of the immigrating family member by qualifying him or her for a green card as the family member of a U.S. citizen. Potentially, one of those visas could become available before an F2 visa.
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Immigrating to the U.S., even when you have a family member who is a Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident, known as an LPR (has a green card), is tricky. There is a lot of information to navigate, but we are your one-stop shop. There are caps (numerical limits) on...read more
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