Green Cards For Relatives

September 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Many foreign nationals become permanent residents of the United States because their immediate relatives who are US citizens or permanent residents (green card) holders petition them. One who helps a relative in becoming a US permanent resident is called the Petitioner and the one who seeks to become a resident is called the Beneficiary.

If you are a US Citizen, you are allowed to file the petition for your

  • spouse or unmarried child below 21 years of age.
  • unmarried child above the age of 21 or your married child of any age.
  • Siblings, but you should be at least 21 years old.
  • Parent. Even here you should be at least 21 years old.

If you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) you are allowed to petition for your

  • spouse.
  • unmarried child.

In a given year, if there are more eligible applicants than the number of available visas, the category will be become “oversubscribed”. Visas will be issued in the order they were received until the quota is reached. The priority date is the date the petition was filed. Visas will be issued only when the priority date is reached. For example: if you are filing under a category that has a limitation of 50,000 visas per year, and this year there were 100,000 visa applications under that category, then the first eligible 50,000 applicants will be issued visas and the remaining 50,000 will be put on a waiting list for the next year which simply means years of waiting periods for certain oversubscribed visa categories.

If you wish to bring your immediate relatives into the US, you have to file a petition with the USCIS. You have to be a born or a naturalized US citizen or a lawful permanent resident. By filing the I-130 petition on behalf of your relative, you are requesting the USCIS to acknowledge the relationship and determine in favor of granting the petition.


  1. Establish the relationship and the matching visa preference classification.
  2. File form I-130 – Petition for Alien Relative.
  3. Have the necessary supporting documents that include proof of your status and proof of beneficiary relationship to you.
  4. Include the filing fee to the I-130 petition.

Remember, you should have two copies of Form G-325A, Biographic Information. You and your spouse will each fill one of the Biographic Information Forms. The form will have information about your parents, place of residence, employers of both husband and wife during the last five years, and previous foreign residences (if any) . You and the beneficiary must sign and date the form before submission.

Form I-864

Form I-864 is generally used as a written obligation from you, the US sponsor to support the alien under the Social Security Act and the Food Stamp Act. You have to read the instructions accompanying form I-864 carefully and ensure that you are aware of the nature of the affirmation that you are making. Take your affirmation on this affidavit seriously.

You need not submit Form I-864 if the intending immigrant can show EITHER that he/she has already worked, or can be credited with, 40 qualifying quarters as defined in title II of the SSA (OR) that he/she is the child of a citizen and that he/she, if admitted for permanent residence on or after February 27, 2001, would automatically acquire citizenship under Section 320 of the INA, as amended by the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.


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