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Schaumburg Family Immigration Attorney

Family-Based Immigration for Green Card Holders

Families need to stay together. Spouses, children, and parents form important bonds that provide stability. If you are a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident, you may be able to sponsor your family members to bring them to the United States. The best option for those who wish to live in the U.S. is to seek a green card. There are several ways to seek a green card, including through a family member sponsorship. An experienced Schaumburg family immigration attorney will answer your questions and guide you through the green card process. 

What is a Green Card?

A green card is also called a permanent resident card. A permanent resident card allows you to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. You may apply for a green card if you meet specific requirements. In addition to being able to live and work in the U.S., a green card provides you with access to government benefits as well as a path toward citizenship. A person with a green card may seek citizenship after three or five years, depending on the type of green card you possess. There are various green card eligibility categories. Of these, one of the most common is family-based. 

Family-Based Eligibility for a Green Card

There are two main categories under which you may apply for a green card based on your eligibility. 

Immediate Relative of U.S. Citizen

A U.S. citizen may sponsor an immediate relative for a green card. Immediate relatives include a spouse, parent, and unmarried child under the age of 21. 

Immediate Relative of Lawful Permanent Resident

A lawful permanent resident (green card holder) may sponsor an immediate relative for a green card under the family preference category. Immediate relatives are the spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, and unmarried child over the age of 21

Other Relatives of the U.S. Citizen

A U.S. citizen can be the sponsor for other relatives. These relatives are unmarried sons or daughters under the age of 21, married sons or daughters, and brothers or sisters over the age of 21. Also, the fiance of a U.S. citizen may apply for a visa. The widow or widower of a U.S. citizen is also eligible for a visa. 

There is also a special category for green cards for an eligible spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, as well as an abused parent of a U.S. citizen. 

How to Apply for a Green Card

It is best to understand which visa category best fits your needs before you begin the petition process. Some types of visas are harder to obtain than others, and some have much longer wait times. You or your sponsor will need to fill out and file the petition along with the required documentation to ensure a smooth process. The processing times for green cards can be lengthy, so it is helpful to seek guidance from a qualified Schaumburg family immigration attorney before you begin. To learn more and to get legal help to petition for a green card, contact our office at Sverdloff Law Group at (312) 238-9090.

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