Many people from different countries want to immigrate to the US with a green card. That’s why the US has developed various US immigrant visas for which people can apply. The main categories are as follows:
- Family green cards for people who want to join their families in the US
- Diversity Visa for people with low immigration rates to the US
- Returning resident visas for people who, for reasons beyond their control, were unable to return and restore their immigrant residency status.
This article will go through Family Based Green Cards, their types, requirements, filing methods, and other relevant details.
What is a Family Green Card?
A family-sponsored green card is an immigrant visa that lets the applicant join their close relatives in the US. Close relations can be your spouse, children, parents, or siblings, but more distant relatives such as grandparents and cousins do not qualify. Getting the card through family means moving to the US permanently. You can stay in any state you want, attend school, and work for a US employer. You are supposed to get a US driver’s license and travel to and from the US for specific periods, and if you do not violate the rules of your visa, you can also apply for US citizenship after some time.
Depending on the type of family green card, there may be annual limits on the number of visas issued. If a ticket has a yearly limit or cap, visas are processed in chronological order. So, if you applied before reaching the limit for that year, your application will be processed. Otherwise, it would help if you waited until next year or until it’s your turn.
What are the Types of Family Cards for Immigration?
There are different types of family green cards, and they vary based on the status of the person in your family living in the US. The following visa types apply to those whose family in the US is a US citizen.
- IR-1 visa available for the spouse of a US citizen
- IR-2 visa for unmarried children under 21 of a US resident
- IR-3 visa for children adopted overseas by a US citizen
- IR-4 visa for children adopted in the US by a US resident
- IR-5 visa is a green permanent card for US citizens at least 21 years old for your parents.
These visas are called immediate relative visas and have no annual cap. The following are the family visas they can apply for:
- F-1 visa is granted to unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens and their minor children
- The F-2 visa is granted to the spouse and minor children (F-2A visa) or adult children (F-2B visa) of lawful permanent residents of the US
- The f-3 visa is granted to married children of US citizens who will travel to the US with their spouses and minor children.
- The f-4 visa is granted to siblings of US citizens who will travel to the US with their spouses and minor children. A US native must be 21 years or older to apply for this visa.
- These visas are called Family inclination visas and have annual limits on the number that can be issued. The F-1 visa has an annual limit of 23,400 visas, the F-2 visa has 114,200 visas, the F-3 visa has 23,400 visas, and the F-4 has 65,000 visas available per year. After reaching these limits, the rest of the applicants will be processed in the following years.
What are the Requirements for Family Green Cards?
Because family green cards are different and apply to other people, so are the requirements. The paramount need for all of them is that the person in the US must have a valid US address, and their belongings must be documented. That means they must have valid documents proving they are either US citizens or lawful permanent residents.
In addition, applicants must have no criminal record and demonstrate that they have a family relationship with a person in the US. If the US person is a spouse, they must present a valid marriage certificate. They must present a valid birth certificate if it is a relationship between children, parents, or siblings.
How to Apply for Family Green Cards?
Because there are many different Green Cards for families, the application process can also be different. Furthermore, a general overview of the procedure can be found below.
Most family card applications are divided into two parts:
- These US citizen/LPR petitions for their family addressed to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- After the petition is approved, the foreign family member must contact the US embassy or consulate in their home country.
This indicates that the application process must begin in the US, and the US citizen / LPR must file a petition with the authorities. The application must be approved, or the applicant cannot start applying for a visa at the US Embassy.
How to get Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status?
The next step after getting a family visa is to become a lawful permanent resident of the US, usually known as getting a green card. To change your status from an immigrant visa to an LPR, you must first have an approved petition from USCIS and access and live in the US.
Expert opinion will add all the information mentioned to your desired plan to make things easier.