Sponsoring a Family Based Green card

Most of the people who have settled and are US citizens love to bring their family members who live in other countries to the US .It is not as easy as it sounds and is a very complex process. Green card is the residence or the work permit for an individual who lives in the US legally. Family based green card is green card for a persons who are relatives of the US citizens or green card holders . In other words, the US citizen or permanent resident can sponsor his/her relative who lives outside the US to get a green card.

Family immigration:

Family immigration, as the name suggests, is immigration of the family of the US citizen or lawful permanent residents to the US. Family immigration allows immigration based on the person’s relationship to a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident and this is an important aspect when sponsoring a family member. The reason being, the US citizens can sponsor parents, spouse, siblings and children whereas a green card holder can only sponsor his/her spouse and children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 years. So if you wish to bring your whole family and enjoy the time together with your family folks, then being a US citizen will make it possible.

Family immigration visa categories are of two types:

Immediate relatives: This includes the immediate close relatives spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 of the US citizen and parents, provided the US citizen sponsoring is at least 21 years of age.

Family preference relatives: This includes four preference categories – the spouse, minor children, unmarried children of lawful permanent residents, married children of US citizens and their spouse and siblings of the US citizen.

Requirements for family based immigration:

In family based immigration, one can sponsor a relative to immigrate to the US, but there are certain requirements one has to meet to sponsor them like:

  • Individual who is sponsoring them should be a US citizens or a lawful permanent resident
  • Willingness to file I 130, Petition for Alien relative for the relative whom you would like to sponsor
  • Evidence on the funds to support the family that is having income level at 125% of the federal poverty level

Benefits of family based green card:

  • Have the right to work anywhere in US
  • Can sponsor your relatives
  • Do not require Employment authorization to work
  • Can become US citizen once the residence requirements are met.

Family based green card can be applied through a two step process:

  1. The US citizen or legal permanent resident should submit form I-130 to petition for the Alien relative with a proof of relationship
  2. Once the green card petition is approved by the USCIS, if you are already present in the US, you can adjust to permanent resident status from your non-immigrant status .

Therefore considering all the advantages of possessing a green card, and obtaining green card through a family member, you not only become a legal permanent resident, but later can apply for citizenship and thereby speed up the process of getting green cards for the rest of the family.

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9 Responses to Sponsoring a Family Based Green card

  1. asad says:

    An American citizen sponsored his sister Her spouce and children were mentioned in the form. When the petition was originally filed 10 years back the children were below 21 years of age but now the children are over 21 years. Will they be eligible?

    • Paul says:

      First your sisters petition should be approved. She doesn’t fall in immediate relative category. Once the I-130 is approved, sister has to file an application at the consulate, there she has to enter details of her spouse and children.

      Any children under age 21 and unmarried when the visas become available will receive visas with the parent. Those who were children when the petitions were filed but become adults before the visas are available may benefit from the Child Protection Act and still be able to get visas with the parent.

  2. emigholz says:

    i’m a u.s citizen and i want petition my sister and i would like to know if her children also apply in petition. They are 18 and 19 years old, the 19 year old wants to join the united states marines and the 18 year old wants to join the national guard

    • Paul says:

      You can petition only your sister(Immediate relative) not her children. Once your sister becomes Green Card holder she can petition for her children.

  3. Chris says:

    Hello, i was petitioned by my father and he showed me the I-79C form and it says that i have been approved, how many months can take in processing the Visa?

    • Paul says:

      I-797C. That’s right the petition is approved, its moving. The time depends on the Family based preference, you need to check out for News Bulletin of immigrant numbers.

  4. hi,do i have the chance to be petitioned by my sister as long as she gets her green card.im 40 years old and presently working in uae.can i apply in us embassy here or in my country?(philippines).thank you

    • Paul says:

      Hope you talking about US Immigration Green Card. If you are a U.S. citizen, you should have gained your citizenship through naturalization or citizenship process, and you should be above 21 years of old to petition a green card for your sister or brother.

  5. Liz Vo says:

    I just came to USA couple months ago as a green card holder. I now want to sponsor for my son, who is 19 years old and single from another country. If I start doing paperwork now (April 2014), do you know how many months or years he could get approval for an interview?

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