Immigration Center of
Ekaterina Mouratova, PA

Immediate relatives of U.S. permanent residents (green card holders)

No one wants to move to the United States while, at the same time, having to leave their family behind. In a lot of circumstances this will not be necessary. There are plenty of provisions in the United States immigration laws for a good immigration attorney to help you bring in your family and all those who are important to you. 

U.S. permanent residents can sponsor their spouses and minor children for a green card. They cannot bring their parents, brothers and sisters under the family unity program as U.S. citizens are allowed to. Also, while the immigration documents can be issued to the relatives of the U.S. citizens at any time, there is an annual quota for green cards to be issued to the relatives of the U.S. permanent residents, which creates a waiting period. To determine how long a person may be waiting until the green card is granted, U.S. immigration law established four preference categories.

The Spouse Of A United States Citizen

The spouse of a United States citizen should have no problem getting into the country. This is someone that an immigration lawyer will look at and say "Yes, this should be an easy case". They know that the rules are quite clear that those who marry US citizens are granted their green cards. After that, there are categories of individuals who may be granted green card status, but only after additional review. 

First Family Preference

An immigration attorney can tell you that if you are not the spouse of a US citizen and are seeking your green card, the next easiest way to do so is to be the child of a US citizen born elsewhere. As long as you are unmarried and under the age of twenty-one, you are the next easiest class of person for an immigration lawyer to get a green card for. 

Second Family Preference

Spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) as well as unmarried children over the age of twenty-one of the U.S. citizens are next on the pecking order for being granted a green card.

Third Family Preference 

This includes married sons and daughters of US citizens as well as the children of those married sons and daughters. Here, it is a little more complicated as many of the available Visas will have been taken up by those in the first two categories. However, people who fall under this label are third in line so to speak. Therefore, it is still not a bad spot to be in necessarily. You might consider getting an immigration lawyer to look into your case at this point. 

Fourth Family Preference

Brothers and sisters of US citizens and their minor children so long as the US citizen is at least twenty-one years of age are the fourth preference. These are people who share the same parents but live in different countries outside of the United States. They are the last in line for Visas, but it is not impossible for them to get one. The waiting period will be long, but the eventually they can reunite with their relatives in the US. The easiest route for individuals in this category may be to qualify for citizenship through some other means such as employment or business immigration 

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