Family Immigrant Petition
Green Card for an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen
To promote family unity, immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen’s:
• Unmarried child under the age of 21
• Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21)
Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.
Get a Green Card While Inside the United States
One Step Process
Certain people are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) while inside the United States. An immediate relative relationship allows you to apply on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to become a permanent resident at the same time your U.S. citizen petitioner files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
Two Step Process
You still have the option to file your I-485 application any time after your petitioner files a Form I-130, for you, as long as it has not been denied. Generally, you will need to submit a copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action, with your Form I-485, that shows the Form I-130 petition is either pending or approved.
• Step One – Your U.S. citizen immediate relative must file the Form I-130 for you and it must be either pending or approved. For more information on Form I-130 petitions.
• Step Two – After you receive Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that the Form I-130 has either been received by us or approved, then you may file Form I-485. When you file your I-485 application package, you must include a copy of the Form I-130 receipt or approval notice (the Form I-797).
Get a Green Card While Outside the United States
If you are currently outside the United States and are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when USCIS works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. You may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry. The Department of State will notify you when you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. If you do not apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification from the Department of State, your petition may be terminated.
Things to keep in mind:
• Turning 21 years of age. When an immediate relative child of a U.S. citizen reaches the 21 years of age, he or she generally will become a “first preference” (F1) category son or daughter (over 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen, and will no longer have a visa immediately available. This change may result in a significant delay in adjustment of status or visa processing because he or she will now need to wait for an immigrant visa to become available.
• Child Status Protection Act. In certain cases, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) may allow you to retain the classification of “child” even if you have reached age 21. Generally, your age is “frozen” as of the date your U.S. citizen parent files Form I-130 for you.
• Getting Married. If an immediate relative child under age 21 gets married, he or she can no longer be classified as an “immediate relative” and will become a “third preference” (F3) category married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and a visa would no longer be immediately available. You must notify us of any change in your marital status after Form I-130 has been filed for you and prior to becoming a permanent resident or obtaining an immigrant visa.
- Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position
- The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree
- The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
- The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree
Labor Condition Application (LCA)
U.S. employer must obtain a certification of a labor condition application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). This application includes certain attestations, a violation of which can result in fines, bars on sponsoring nonimmigrant or immigrant petitions, and other sanctions. The application requires the employer to attest that it will comply with the following requirements:
• The employer will pay the alien worker the wage which is no less than the wage paid to similarly qualified workers or, if greater, the prevailing wage for the position in the geographic area in which the alien worker will be working.
• The employer will provide working conditions that will not adversely affect other similarly employed workers.
• At the time of the labor condition application, there is no strike or lockout at the employer’s place of business.
• Notice of the filing of the labor condition application with the DOL has been given to the union bargaining representative or has been posted at the place of business.
Period of Stay
An alien can be in H-1B status for a maximum of 6 years. There are some exceptions under which H-1B can be extended beyond the 6 year limit.
The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 each fiscal year, of which 6,800 are set aside for Chile and Singapore. In addition to the regular cap, 20,000 are set aside each fiscal year for those who have received a U.S. Master’s degree or higher. H-1B workers who are sponsored by or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliate or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any question.