Attorney for Family Based Petitions
For several U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (also known as LPR’s or green card holders), being able to petition for a family member to enter and remain in the United States is a priority. Under current immigration laws, some U.S. Citizens or LPR’s may be able to make this happen by filing a family-based petition and supporting evidence for a qualifying family member.
Eligibility for Family Based Petitions
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may file an immigrant petition for a parent, spouse, sibling, adult child (married or unmarried) and minor child. As a U.S. citizen, you may also petition for a fiancé who is residing overseas. If you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), you may petition for certain family members, though you will qualify to petition for fewer categories of family members. As a lawful permanent resident, the family members you may petition for are limited to your spouse, adult unmarried child, and minor child.
Family Based Petitions Timeline
Immediate relatives can get green cards without worrying about visa-availability waiting periods or numerical limits. (There will be a wait of many months, however, while USCIS and then the State Department actually process the applications.)
Preference relatives typically have to wait between for some number of years before being allowed to apply for their visa or green card.
Only a certain percentage of the green cards in the preference categories go to any one country each year. That means that if a particularly high number of people submit petitions for family from certain countries--as is often the case with India, Mexico, China, and the Philippines--their family members end up waiting even longer than others.
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