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When looking to reside in the United States permanently, there are several options you may consider. However, something many opt for when receiving their green card, or permanent residence status, is to go through a family member. If this reflects your situation, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll discover how this is possible and what you must do to apply. You’ll also learn how a New York City green card lawyer can assist you during this process.

Can I Receive Permanent Residence Through a Family Member?

If you have an immediate relative who is a United States citizen, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence. These familial ties include:

  • You are the parent of a U.S. citizen (and the citizen is at least 21)
  • Your spouse is a U.S. citizen
  • You are the unmarried child of a U.S. citizen (and you are under 21)

In the event one or more of these circumstances apply to you, you meet the eligibility requirements to obtain a green card through your family members.

It’s important to understand that if you have an immediate relative, a visa is always available to you. This differs from other familial ties, such as brothers and sisters or unmarried adult children. This is because there are a limited amount of visas available for these relatives, known as family preference.

How Do I Apply for Residence?

Generally, you must have an immediate family member sponsor you. They will file a Form I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once USICS has verified your relationship, they will approve the petition. As such, you can apply for permanent residence. This verification is completed through biometrics and submission of a valid marriage license, depending on who your immediate family member is, and an interview with a USCIS officer.

To apply for residence, you must file a Form I-485 or Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status. This is a detailed form that requires a significant amount of information. Once this is complete and you obtain a visa, you can apply for a green card in two ways. The first is through consular processing, which is for those outside the United States through a Department of State consulate. If you are already in the United States, you can apply through a process known as the adjustment of status.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

Unfortunately, the immigration process can be overwhelming and confusing. As such, enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you navigate this process is essential to assisting you through this process. At the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis, our dedicated legal team has the necessary experience to help you navigate this complex process. Contact us today to learn how we can fight for you to achieve permanent resident status.