A permanent resident is a person who is granted authorization to live and work permanently in the United States. As a proof of the permanent resident status the individual is given an authorization card which is commonly called as Green Card and officially called as I 551. Permanent Residents are authorized to work in any company or institution, permitted to start own business or create own corporation, given the privilege to sponsor his/her family members.
There are various ways in obtaining a green card. One may obtain a green card through employment, through family member, asylee and refugee status, through adoption by a permament resident or a US Citizen or through green card lottery program. Most people become permanent residents through a family member who is a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States. The United States allows U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents to petition for their family members to come and live permanently in the United States.
Who can use form I-130:
To get a family based green card a foreign individual must be sponsored by a US Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. The sponsor must file a petition called form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) to help the immigrant to immigrate to United States.If the immigrant is already in US, the sponsor can adjust the status using Form I-485 green card. To sponsor a family member , the sponsor or the petitioner must meet certain eligibility criteria.
- The sponsor must be either a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident of the United States . The sponsor must also provide document for such status.
- The sponsor must have a qualifying relationship with the immigrant.
- The sponsor must be willing to sponsor the immigrant by filing a form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
- The sponsor must prove that he/she will be able to support the immigrant and other sponsored family members financially at 125% above the mandatory poverty line.
Obtaining a family based green card is a two step process. The first step is filing the Family Immigration Petition form I-130 where the sponsor must establish a qualifying relationship with the immigrant. The second step is filing the green card application. The second step is not necessary when the sponsor is a US Citizen and the immigrant is the spouse or parent or minor child who is currently in the United States. Other immigrants who do not fall in this category must go through both the process .
If the sponsor is a US Citizen, then he may sponsor his spouse, children, parents and siblings under certain conditions. If the sponsor is a Permanent Resident , then he/she may sponsor his spouse , children and parents .
All the family based green card petitions must be signed properly and sent to USCIS with the supporting evidence. Once the petition is received , it will be checked for completeness with the inclusion of the supporting evidence. If the required evidence is not submitted, the application will be rejected. The USCIS might require more information from the sponsor or the immigrant and might request them to appear for an interview. If the petition is granted, they will be notified in writing.