Family Based Immigration
Family Based Immigration

You may be eligible to receive your Green Card (become a permanent resident) through your family members if you are:

✅ An immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, this includes spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older

✅ A family member of a U.S. citizen under a preference category, this includes unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21, married children of any age, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizen who are 21 or older

✅ A family member of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) under a preference category, this includes spouses and unmarried sons or daughters under the age of 21 of the sponsoring green card holder

✅ A battered spouse, child or parent of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), This category is not just limited to women

✅ A person born to a foreign diplomat in the United States

✅ A V nonimmigrant. This category is limited to a spouse or child of a permanent resident who was petitioned for by their green card holding spouse or parent before December 20, 2000 under the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act

✅ A widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen if you were married in a good faith marriage when your spouse passed away and are not remarried

✅ A fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen (K-1 nonimmigrant) or the fiancé(e)’s child (K-2 nonimmigrant)

A sponsor must be at least 18 years old, and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder). The sponsor generally must live in the United States, a territory or possession, unless you live abroad temporarily and your permanent residence is still in the U.S.

You are not eligible to be sponsored through your family members if you are:

❌ A married child of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder)

❌ A spouse, if you and your spouse were not both physically present at the marriage ceremony, unless the marriage was consummated

❌ A spouse, if your spouse gained lawful permanent resident status (green card) through a prior marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident , unless:

  • Your spouse is now a naturalized U.S. citizen;

  • Your spouse has been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years;

  • Your spouse can establish by clear and convincing evidence that you did not enter the prior marriage (through which they gained lawful permanent resident status) in order to evade any U.S. immigration law; or

  • Your spouse's prior marriage through which they gained their immigrant status was terminated by the death of their former spouse

❌ A spouse, if you married your spouse while you are in or the subject of an exclusion, deportation, removal, or rescission proceeding . However, you may be eligible for the bona fide marriage exemption under INA section 245(e)(3) if:

  • You and your spouse request in writing a bona fide marriage exemption and prove by clear and convincing evidence that the marriage is legally valid where it took place and that you and your spouse married in good faith and not for the purpose of obtaining lawful permanent resident status for your spouse and that no fee or any other consideration (other than attorney fees) to file the petition; or

  • You have lived outside the United States, after the marriage, for a period of at least two years

❌ A grandparent, grandchild, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, cousin, or parent-in-law

❌ A stepparent or stepchild, if the marriage that created the relationship took place after the child turned 18 years of age

❌ An adoptive parent or adopted child, if the adoption took place after the child turned 16 years of age, or if the child has not been in the legal custody and has not lived with the parents for at least 2 years before filing the petition

❌ A birth natural parent if your child gained lawful permanent resident status (green card holder) or U.S. citizenship through adoption or as a special immigrant juvenile

❌ Any person, if USCIS determines that he or she entered into or attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage in order to evade U.S. immigration laws


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