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What does a family based petition mean?

Published on December 10, 2012 by in Immigration

A large quantity of United States citizens become legal permanent residents through a family member. The United States government promotes family unity and permits U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to petition certain relatives to come and live permanently in the United States.

There are two distinct avenues to obtain a green card; many family members who already reside in the United States may qualify for an adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States. This adjustment means that the applicants are able to complete the immigration process without returning to their home country.

Relatives who live outside the United States or those individual who do not qualify for an adjustment of status may be eligible for consular processing through a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

An applicant may be eligible to obtain a green card as an immediate relative or as a family member in a preference category if the U.S. citizen relative files a Form I-130 or the petition for Alien Relative.

An individual is regarded as immediate relative of a U.S. citizen if they are a child (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen, if they are a spouse (husband or wife) of a U.S. citizen, or if they are a parent of a U.S. citizen.

Family members of a U.S. citizen in a preference category include: an unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a U.S. citizen, a married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen, and a sibling of a U.S. citizen.

The requirement for the receipt of a Green Card through Family is fairly uniform with regard to the classification of an approved immediate family member, extraordinary conditions can exist:

a.    A birth that took place outside of the borders of the United States – with regard to parents who are legal citizens of the United States –retains the possibility of awarding United States citizenship through naturalization to the children birthed; however, this will typically require that the child resides within the United States on a permanent basis

b.    Prior to the receipt of a Green Card through Family, individuals will first be required to apply for the appropriate Visa; this will allow them to remain within the United States pending the Green Card application process

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