Many people are eligible to get U.S. Green Cards (become permanent residents) through certain family members. These family members may be U.S. Citizens or may simply have a Green Card of their own. When a person seeks to obtain a Green Card through such a family member, this type of immigration is referred to as “family-based immigration.” Obtaining a Green Card through family-based immigration is often the best approach to immigrating to the U.S. Alternatively, for more information about obtaining a K-1 Nonimmigrant Fiance Visa, click here.
Green Card Holder’s Rights and Privileges:
Obtaining a Green Card gives the Green Card Holder many rights and privileges:
- Live permanently anywhere in the U.S.;
- Work in the U.S.;
- Own property in the U.S.;
- Attend public schools;
- Sponsor unmarried children and spouses to become U.S. Permanent Residents; and,
Process of Obtaining a Family-Based Green Card:
The process of obtaining a U.S. Green Card via family-based immigration will depend upon numerous factors. However, the process can be summarized as follows. The first step in obtaining a U.S. Green Card through family-based immigration is to find an eligible person to petition for the intending immigrant to immigrate to the United States. U.S. Citizens can file on behalf of the following persons:
- Husband or wife;
- Children, this includes children of all ages whether married or unmarried;
- Parents, if the U.S. Citizen is at least 21 years of age; and,
- Brothers or sisters, if the U.S. Citizen is at least 21 years of age.
In addition, U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) can file on behalf of the following persons:
- Husband or wife; and,
- Unmarried children, regardless of age.
If such a person is willing to sponsor the family-based immigrant and other requirements are met, the next step will depend upon whether the intending immigrant is already in the United States or whether he/she is outside of the U.S. If the intending immigrant is outside of the United States, the intending immigrant can become a U.S. Permanent Resident via “consular processing.” Consular processing is a fancy term to describe when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and the Department of State work together to issue a visa to the intending immigrant when a visa is available. Of course, in most cases, when consular processing is used, the intending immigrant must wait for a visa to be issued before entering the United States.
On the other hand, if the intending immigrant is already in the United States, the intending immigrant may be able to become a permanent resident via “adjustment of status.” If the intending immigrant qualifies for adjustment of status, the benefit of this approach is that the intending immigrant can remain in the United States while his or her immigration application is pending.
If the intending immigrant is outside of the United States, the next step is for the U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the intending immigrant with USCIS. The Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, can file this form on your behalf, with all of the necessary supporting documentation, to ensure you have the best chance of getting approved.
If USCIS approves Form I-130, the case file is, then, sent to the National Visa Center (“NVC”) for initial processing. During this phase, the NVC may require the submission of documents from both the intending immigrant and the U.S. petitioner. The Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, can assist you with all of these submissions to ensure a positive and expedient result.
Once initial processing is completed, the NVC will send the case file to the U.S. Embassy of the country where the intending immigrant resides. The U.S. Embassy will require the intending immigrant to complete numerous tasks, including, completion of an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application, submission of an Affidavit of Support, and attendance of an interview at the U.S. Embassy. The Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, assists its clients throughout all of these steps to ensure that the intending immigrant has the best chance of being approved for an immigrant visa by the U.S. Embassy.
Once the intending immigrant is granted a visa by the U.S. Embassy, the intending immigrant is allowed to travel to the United States and request U.S. entry with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). If admitted, the intending immigrant will be admitted as a U.S. permanent resident and will receive his/her Green Card in the mail shortly thereafter.
Adjustment of Status:
If the intending immigrant is already in the United States, the U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident may be able to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, concurrently with USCIS. Of course, if wanted, Form I-130 may be filed first with USCIS followed by the filing of Form I-485 at a later date, but this may delay the application process. Whatever approach you choose, concurrent filing or the two-step approach, the Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, can assist you in filing all of these government forms and submitting the required supporting documentation.
After your application is received by USCIS, USCIS’s Applicaton Support Center will schedule an appointment with the intending immigrant to get his/her biometrics. At this appointment, the intending immigrant’s fingerprints, picture, and signature may be taken to confirm the identity of the intending immigrant and run required background and security checks.
Next, USCIS will likely schedule an interview for the intending immigrant and the U.S. petitioner to get answers about the application. The Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, prepares its clients for any interviews scheduled by USCIS.
After any applicable USCIS interview, the intending immigrant will be notified via mail whether his or her application is granted. If the application is granted, the intending immigrant will be considered a permanent resident at that point in time.
For more information about family-based immigration and to find out if you qualify for a U.S. Green Card via family-based immigration, contact us today by clicking here.