You or Your Spouse May Be Eligible To Become A Lawful Permanent Residence then Eventually Apply For Citizenship
Spouse or Family Member Becoming Permanent Resident
See Mr. Pecchia’s informative blog in which he talks in plain English about Marriage Visas and Greencards:
A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a spouse who is a citizen of the United States, or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process, unless you can adjust status in the United States, which is explained below.
The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant visa petition, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, for you. This petition is filed by your relative (sponsor/spouse) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative.
The Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, the foreign national, even if you are already in the United States. SEE IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY OF VISA NUMBERS FOR IMMEDIATE RELATIVES BELOW. When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply for the immigration benefit immediately.
If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status (called adjustment of status – AOS) to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available to you. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you must then go to the U.S. consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing.
Spouse or Family Member Becoming Permanent Resident
In order for a relative to sponsor you to immigrate to the United States, they must meet the following criteria:
They must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and be able to provide documentation providing that status.
They must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line, by filling out an Affidavit of Support. However, there are ways in which this requirement can be met is the sponsoring relative cannot meet it. Mr. Pecchia is happy to discuss them with you.
The relatives which may be sponsored as an immigrant vary depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S:
Husband or wife
Unmarried child under 21 years of age
Unmarried son or daughter over 21
Married son or daughter of any age
Brother or sister, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old or
Parent, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old
If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S.:
Husband or wife or
Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
In any case, the sponsor must be able to provide proof of the relationship.
Preference Categories And Adjustment of Status (Applying For Permanent Residence from Within the United States)
If you wish to immigrate as a relative of a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must obtain an immigrant visa number based on the preference category in which you fall. People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, SPOUSES and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by USCIS. An immigrant visa number will become immediately available. The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:
First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens.
Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens.
Once USCIS receives your visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative), it will be approved or denied. USCIS notifies the person who filed the visa petition of the petition was approved. For relatives abroad, USCIS will then send the approved visa petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. The Center will notify the foreign national when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is available.
Spouse or Family Member Becoming Permanent Resident AND in the US
Adjustment of Status (Becoming A Permanent Residence in the US)
If your relatives are already in the United States and entered legally, or qualify under 245i , and a visa number is immedately available, as is the case with immediate relatives of a citizen, then they may be able to file an I-485 application to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident at the same time as the I-130 relative petition. Typically, the I-765 application for employment autorization is filled with those forms as well.
Information provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. Individuals should speak with an attorney knowledgeable in such matters concerning their particular situation. Also see Legal Disclaimer section of this site.
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