There are many people in the U.S. who have family members living in other countries. Some of these people want to help their other family members to live in the U.S. This is not a simple task though. It is a common myth that if one immigrant settles in the U.S. then they can easily get the rest of their family green cards. This is not true, getting a green card has become a lot more limited and complex over the years.
If you want to help your family member to immigrate to the U.S., you can do something. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can petition for your family member to come here. There are only specific members of your family that you are able to petition for though. They must be an immediate relatives or a preference relatives.
A preference relative is an immigration term for certain people who could be eligible for a green card based on their family relations. These individuals include the married children of U.S. citizens, children over 21 years of age of U.S. citizens, the spouses or children of U.S. green card holders, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens where the U.S. citizen is over 21 years of age.
An immediate relative refers to individuals who are a spouse of a U.S. citizen, minor child , or parent of a U.S. citizen.
If you are a U.S. citizen who is 21 years old or older, the immediate relatives that you are able to sponsor are your parents. If you are a U.S. citizen that is at least 18 years old or older, the immediate relative immigrants that you are able to petition for is your spouse or minor, unmarried children.
If you are a U.S. citizen the preference relative immigrant that you are able to petition for are your married children or adult children. If you are a U.S. citizen who is 21 years old or older, then the preference relative immigrant that you are able to petition for is your brothers and sisters.
If you are a U.S. permanent resident, the preference relative immigrants that you are able to petition for are your unmarried children or your spouse.
Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents-in-law, and other extended family members are not mentioned in the previous text. Although this is the case, if the individuals are able to immigrate to the U.S. then they will be able to bring their own spouses and children with them.
Many people know that this process may take a long time, but are not sure of exactly how long. Although it can vary, there is an approximate estimation for anyone who is wondering. Immediate relatives are able to get a green card without worrying about visa- availability waiting periods. Preference relatives on the other hand will usually have to wait a number of years before they are able to apply for their visa or green card.
There is a certain percentage of green cards in the preference category that is able to go to our country per year.
If you are a first preference adult, unmarried child of a U.S. citizen, then the average wait is 8 years. If you are a second preference spouse or child of a permanent resident than your average wait is 2 years for spouses and minor children. If you are in this category, but you are an adult child then your average wait is 7 years. If you are a third preference, married children of U.S. citizens, then your wait is on average 12 years. If you are a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen, you are considered fourth preference and have a wait time on average of 13 years.
Palacios Law Group is always trying to bring families together, and help individuals to obtain their green card as soon as possible. if you are in need of a lawyer to help you through the process, we can help you!