If you are a U.S. citizen and you have family members who want to become residents in the United States, you may be able to petition a green card for them. A green card allows your family member to legally live in the U.S. and work here. They may be able to obtain a green card through an employer too, if they were offered a job in the United States.
Who can you petition for a green card?
You can only petition a green card for people who have the following relationship to you:
· Your parents
· Your spouse
· Your children, if they are younger than 21 and are not married
You can also petition for your adult children, but they may have to wait longer. If you are a permanent resident but not a citizen of the U.S., you can still petition your family members for a green card, but they might have to wait longer than others who applied.
Your family members have to meet the requirements of the INA in order to obtain a green card. If they do, they must also:
· Have a petition filed and approved
· Have an immigrant visa available to them
· Be legally admissible to the United States
If they do not meet the criteria for their immigration category or they are not admissible to the U.S., they may not be able to get a green card, even if they are your family.
The first step in the green card process is to file a petition for your family member. Then your loved one will need to fill out Form I-485, which is a petition to adjust their status. They might be able to file this form at the same time as your petition or they may have to wait until the petition has been approved. After that, your family member will have to go to an Application Support Center for a security check and they might also have an interview with USCIS.
Once this process is complete, you will get a written notice about your loved one’s status. Petitions for green cards can be denied though. The process can be confusing or difficult for families. If you need help or have questions, an immigration attorney can assist your family.