Green Card for Family Member

Can I Petition for my foreign relative?

In order for your foreign relative to obtain permanent residence in the United States, you (the petitioner) must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Once the I-130 petition has been approved by USCIS, they will forward the file to the State Department.

How soon will I receive a visa number?

To adjust your status to permanent residence, a visa number from the State Department must be immediately available to you. Which category a family member falls under will determine how long the wait will be. It is categorized from the petitioner’s immigration status and their relationship to the foreign relative. “Immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens, have an unlimited number of immigration visas available. While other family members may have to wait years to get a visa number assigned to them. The “family preference” category you fall under will determine how long your foreign relative will have to wait for a visa number. This is listed as your priority date on your approval notice.  You are able to check the status of a visa number on the Department of State's Visa Bulletin, published every month.

“Immediate Relatives” of U.S. citizens:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried minor children under the age of 21, and
  • Parents of adult U.S. citizens (21 years or older)

"Family Preference" Category:

  •  First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Second Preference: (a) Spouses and children of U.S. citizens
    • (b) Unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

After I receive my I-130 approval notice, and my priority date has been reached, what is next?

Obtaining a Permanent Residence or commonly known as a “Green Card” (form I-551), involves filing a number of forms with either U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), National Visa Center (NVC), and the State Department.

My foreign relative is overseas…

Your relative will file DS-260 Immigrant Visa Application with the Department of State. The interview will be held at a U.S. Consulate who handles Immigrant Visas.

If approved, you will receive a temporary immigrant visa in your passport book. You will then have to pay the USCIS immigrant fee to obtain your Green Card by mail.

My foreign relative is already in the United States…

Your relative will file form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with a combination of other required and optional government forms. The interview will be held at a local USCIS office.

If approved, you will receive your Green Card by mail.

Although the immigration applications may look straightforward, there are many important details not included in the instructions that can affect your case. 

Contact our office for a thorough review of your case. 

Law Office of Pieter D Speyer
7825 Fay Avenue, Suite 200
La Jolla, CA, 92037
858.551.6888