Obtaining a Green Card:
U.S. Permanent Resident Cards, also referred to as “Green Cards,” grant a foreign national the permission to permanently reside and work in the U.S. As a lawful permanent resident, you can remain legally within the country for a much greater period of time than on a temporary visa.
Are you Eligible to get a Green Card through your Family?
If you have a family member who is a permanent resident green card holder or U.S. citizen, they may be able to petition for you to be eligible for a green card. If you have a U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child of at least 21 years of age, you would be considered an “immediate relative” and they can file a form I-130 petition as Petitioner, for you the Beneficiary. Once approved, an immigrant visa is immediately available meaning if you are overseas, you can thereafter attend an immigrant visa interview overseas through Consular Processing at a respective U.S. embassy or consulate near you. If you are in the U.S., you can file an Adjustment of Status application to obtain a green card after successfully passing an interview at your local USCIS field office. If you are applying based on marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse or immediate relative parent or unmarried child under 21 years of age, you can file the form I-130 combined with your I-485 adjustment of status application, known as a “one-step” in immigration because these two major steps are combined into one. Once your I-485 is filed, you may also be eligible to apply for an I-765 work permit request and I-131 travel permit.
All other family relationships that qualify to sponsor you will make you fit into certain preference categories, meaning an immigrant visa is not readily available upon approval of the form i-130, and therefore you must wait until the priority date (the date your relative filed Form I-130) becomes current based on the monthly updated Visa Bulletin. These relationships include: (F1) Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, spouses and children, and Unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents, (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents, (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents, (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens, and (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens.
Financial Sponsorship Requirement
For most beneficiaries of an approved form I-130, the petitioner must also be a financial sponsor to the beneficiary meaning they will be responsible for and subject to reimbursement by the government, should the green card holder apply for certain “means-tested” benefits. In order to qualify as a financial sponsor, the person must list their past three years income, current income, and provide proof of income through past 3 years tax returns including W-2 statements as well as current pay-stubs and employment verification letter if working for a new employer. That person’s current household size plus the applicant will be used to determine household size income required based on Form I-864p poverty guidelines list in comparing the sponsor’s income to the chart to ensure they at least earn above the minimum income requirements given their respective household size.
What Documents do you need to Sponsor your Family Member?
Generally, the sponsoring family member must provide proof of their U.S. citizenship with either their Certificate of Naturalization, Biographic page of U.S. Passport, U.S. Birth Certificate, or in the case of a U.S. permanent resident, a copy of their green card. The applicant must provide their birth certificate as well as their I-94 arrival-departure record (which currently can be obtained online). Depending on the family relationship, a marriage certificate may be required as well. Our Immigration Lawyer thoroughly checks the application and documents prior to submission to ensure the application is complete at the time of initial filing.
Our firm has helped hundreds of families reunite with their loved ones from overseas by obtaining immigrant visas and obtain their green card permanent resident status successfully in the U.S. through adjustment of status.
We are here to guide you and ensure you and your family member will have a successful green card application process. Contact our firm today at (866)691-9894 to schedule your consultation today.