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Obtain Green Card Through Family Members

Green Card is an identification document that grants individuals permanent residency status in the United States. One of the most common processes for foreign nationals to live and work legally in the United States is through a family-based application. By law, immigrants who are relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents can obtain green cards.


How do I obtain a green card through family members?


Age requirements, deferral periods, opportunities for adjustments of status, and the inclusion of additional dependents on a single application depend on the degree of relationship between the petitioning U.S. citizen or resident alien and the beneficiary noncitizen.


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services classifies family relationships into two categories:

  1. Immediate family members
  2. Priority immigrants.


“Immediate relatives” are spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents who are U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives are not subject to the waiting period and may apply for U.S. residency through the U.S. Embassy or adjust status in the U.S. immediately.


“Priority immigrants,” on the other hand, fall into the priority category based on kinship. Annual statutory limits apply to apartments assigned to these categories.


The configuration categories are grouped as follows:

  • First Preference: Unmarried children over the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen.
  • Second Preference (2A): Permanent Resident spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. 
  • Second Preference (2B): Unmarried children over 21 years of age with permanent residence. 
  • Third Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens, their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. 
  • Fourth preference: U.S. citizen brothers and sisters, their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.


Understanding the intricate criteria, relationship nuances, and varied categories is essential when pursuing a U.S. Green Card through family-based immigration pathways for permanent residency in America.


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Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, the material on this site has been prepared for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or other professional advice, and its receipt does not constitute any type of attorney-client relationship. Never disregard the advice of your own attorney to discuss your particular case. 


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