According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the immigration system seeks to foster family ties by allowing certain family members of those already in the country as citizens to achieve the status of permanent residence. The law provides multiple ways by which these family members can obtain a green card.
Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen’s:
- Unmarried child under the age of 21
- Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21)
Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.
If the family member is not an “immediate relative” as that is defined above, then he or she may still qualify under the “preferential category” which include:
- Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21
- Married child(ren) of any age
- Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21)
Because of numerical limitations on the number of qualified petitioners for such residency per the “preferential category” route, those eligible must wait before a position becomes available to get the green card.
Also, other family members may qualify to come in under “special situation” status although such adjustment of status programs are limited to individuals who meet particular qualifications and/or apply during certain time frames. The programs include but are not limited to:
- Battered Spouse or Child (VAWA)
- K Nonimmigrant (includes fiancé(e))
- Person Born to a Foreign Diplomat in the United States
- Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen
The Shulman Law Group, LLC has successfully prepared and filed many petitions on behalf of its clients who are family members of United States citizens. Its comprehensive experience in the field enables the firm’s attorneys and professional staff to understand what information and materials needs to be produced in order to ensure petitions receive appropriate consideration. This is particularly relevant in the case of those qualifying under the “special situation” categories referenced above. The firm’s excellence is fortified by its rigorous determination to ensure that all procedural matters are properly addressed.