Who is Eligible for a Family Based Green Card?

Foreign nationals become eligible for US Green Cards through few different ways and family based immigration is more common as this is one of the easiest ways to obtain US Green Cards. If you have a US citizen family member, you may immigrate to America, if that US citizen is willing to sponsor you for lawful status in the country. If you are a US citizen’s immediate relative, you will be given more priority and you may not be required to wait for a long time to immigrate to the United States. US citizens can sponsor different categories of relatives but the permanent residents can sponsor only their spouses and their children. Moreover, relatives of US citizens can immigrate faster than the relatives of Green Card holders.

Categories of Relatives who are Eligible for Family Based Green Cards

You need to be an immediate relative of a US citizen to apply for a family based Green Card. Similarly, you will become eligible for a Green Card based on family relationship, if you belong to one of the family preference categories.

Spouses and children of Green Card holders, can apply for Green Cards if they are sponsored by their spouses or parents who hold Green Cards.

Immediate relatives of US citizens can immigrate faster and there is no numerical limit on the number of immigrant visas that are issued to immediate relatives of US citizens. Spouses, children below 21 and parents of US citizens, are eligible for family based Green Cards. However, a US citizen must be above age 21, to sponsor his parents for lawful status.

US citizens can also sponsor other relatives who qualify as preference relatives. But preference relatives will have to wait for a long time to obtain immigrants visas. US citizens may sponsor their unmarried and married children above age 21, under the family preference category. They can also sponsor their siblings of any age, if they are above age 21.

US citizens and Green Card holders who wish to sponsor the above mentioned relatives, must file Form I-130, for each relative, they wish to sponsor. After the USCIS approves Form I-130, the beneficiary must file an application for an immigrant visa and appear for an immigration interview. A visa will be issued when a visa number becomes available and with that visa, the foreign national can travel to America and obtain a Green Card.