How to Sponsor a Family Member Green Card

Statue of Liberty and passport

If you are a Green Card holder (United States Permanent Resident) or citizen, you may be able to sponsor some of your family members to move to the US. USCIS allows Green Card holders to sponsor certain family member Green Cards to immigrate to the United States as permanent residents.

Who Is Eligible For a Family Member Green Card :

  • Spouse (husband or wife)
  • Unmarried children under 21
  • Unmarried son or daughter of any age
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen

Form I-130

To sponsor a family member based on your Green Card or US citizenship, you must complete a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Once you complete an I-130, you must wait until a visa number becomes available. Your Form I-130 will require: 

  • Provide proof of your status to demonstrate that you are a permanent resident
  • Submit evidence of the qualifying relationship such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc. See the form instructions for specific documents required
  • Submit proof of any legal name change for you or your family member 

The United States promotes family togetherness and gives visa applications of family members of citizens preferences. A family-based green card is evaluated on how close a relationship the immigration applicant has to the green card holder. 

  1. Immediate Relatives

Foreign-born immediate relatives can immigrate to the U.S. in unlimited numbers and are not controlled by annual limits or quotas include: 

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens 
  • Unmarried children of a U.S. citizen, under the age of 21
  • Parents of U.S. citizens, if the U.S. citizen child is age 21 or older
  1. Preference Relatives

Preference relative visas are other family members of the Green Card holder that are limited by annual quotas and may have a long wait, possibly waiting years, depending on how close the relationship is: 

  • First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. (Adult means 21 or older)
  • Second Preference (2A): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
  • Second Preference (2B):  Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens
  1. Accompanying Relatives 

When a Green Card holder or U.S. citizen submits a visa petition for a foreign-born relative, that person’s spouse and unmarried children who are under the age of 21 will automatically be included in the immigration process:

  • Family first preference cases when a U.S. citizen is petitioning for an unmarried child age 21 or older.
  • Family second preference cases when a permanent resident petitions for a husband, wife, or unmarried child.
  • Family third preference cases when a U.S. citizen is petitioning for a married child.
  • Family fourth preference cases when a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old petitions for a sibling.

There is a limited number of relatives who are given a family member Green Card each year and there is usually a waiting period for an immigrant visa number. Misuse, crime or not keeping immigration authorities informed of your current address can cause a family Green Card visa application to be declined.  

An Immigration Simplified attorney can guide you through the family member Green Card process and help you file correctly the first time. We review your situation, provide you with the proper forms and help you submit your citizenships application. Contact us today to get started. Please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944. 

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