Obtaining a green card through family-based immigration is generally a two-step process. First, you must show that you have a qualifying relationship. Once USCIS has validated that relationship, the foreign national may apply for his or her lawful permanent resident status, either through Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status.

Qualifying Relationships

  • Immediate relative of a U.S. citizen;
    • Defined as the spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, or parent of U.S. citizen over the age of 21.
    • Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.
  • Unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21, a married child of any age, or a brother/sister of a U.S. citizen petitioner age 21 or older;
  • Spouse or unmarried child of a legal permanent resident;
  • Battered spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident;
  • Child born to a foreign diplomat in the United States;
  • V nonimmigrant;
  • Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen;
  • Fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen; or
  • Prospective adopted child of a U.S. citizen.

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