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Green Card Guide for Immediate Family of US Citizens

The inability for immediate family members to permanently live in the United States despite residing nearby can be a significant source of hardship for US citizens. Fortunately, a well-defined legal pathway exists to bridge this gap. This guide explores the essential aspects of petitioning for a Green Card for qualifying family members currently holding non-immigrant visas.

Eligibility for Immediate Relative Sponsorship

US citizens hold a distinct advantage when sponsoring immediate family for permanent residency. Unlike other family-based immigration categories with limitations and quotas, there are no numerical restrictions for spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of US citizens over 21. This expedited process allows for quicker family reunification.

Establishing the Foundation: The I-130 Petition

The initial step involves filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This critical document serves as official recognition of the familial relationship between the US citizen petitioner and the beneficiary seeking permanent residency. The USCIS website offers readily accessible resources, including the form itself, detailed instructions, and a fee calculator to estimate associated costs.

Obtaining Permanent Residency: The I-485 Application

Following USCIS approval of Form I-130, the family member can then proceed with the Green Card application by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.  Similar to Form I-130, USCIS provides this form and supporting information on their website.

Concurrent Filing: A Potential Expedient Approach

For qualifying family members already physically present in the US with a valid non-immigrant visa, "concurrent filing" presents a strategic opportunity. This allows for the simultaneous submission of Form I-130 (establishing the relationship) and Form I-485 (application for adjustment of status to permanent resident).  Consulting with an immigration attorney is highly recommended to determine eligibility for concurrent filing and explore potential time-saving benefits.

Understanding Processing Timelines

It's crucial to acknowledge that processing times can fluctuate based on USCIS workload and the specific visa category involved. The USCIS website maintains current processing time estimates to assist with managing expectations. Additionally, the US Department of State offers a wealth of information on family-based immigration for further exploration.

The Value of Immigration Attorney Expertise

Immigration law is a dynamic and intricate field.  Engaging the services of an experienced immigration attorney can significantly enhance the success of your petition. Tran Flore Law can provide invaluable support by:

  • Assessing Individual Circumstances: A thorough evaluation of your specific situation allows our attorney to determine the most efficient path forward for petition approval.

  • Navigating Complexities: Immigration processes often involve intricate forms, strict deadlines, and evolving legal nuances. We ensure all documentation is completed accurately and filed within the designated timeframes.

  • Representing You Before USCIS: Our attorney has the expertise to represent you during USCIS interviews, advocating on your behalf and ensuring your voice is heard throughout the process.

  • Providing Peace of Mind: The complexities of immigration processes can be stressful. We can address your concerns, answer your questions, and offer ongoing reassurance throughout the journey.

Reuniting with family and establishing permanent residency marks a significant milestone in building a life together in the United States. By leveraging the resources available and seeking the guidance of a qualified immigration attorney, you can navigate this process with confidence and expedite the arrival of your loved ones. Contact us now at (512) 894-9984 to schedule a consultation.


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