The Permanent Resident Permit, usually called the “Green Card”, is issued to legal immigrants to allow them to live and work permanently in the U.S.
There are a lot of ways in which to obtain a Green Card through family, including the family-based immigration visas such as IR-5, IR-2, CR-1/IR-1 paths or an adjustment of status. Each of these legal paths come with different requirements, exemptions and exceptions - but the most common paths to acquiring permanent residency are through sponsorship either by a direct family member, or a prospective employer.
Applying for a Green Card implies applying for a variety of permits and require various forms such as:
- Form I-485 | Adjustment of Status
- Form I-130 | Alien Petition
- Form I-131 | Travel Permit
- Form I-765 | Employment Authorization
- Form I-864 | Financial Sponsor
- Form I-693 | Medical Examination
- Form G-1145 | E-Notification
Each case is supervised by in-house immigration lawyers and each client is provided with attorney representation throughout their case. All cases are handled by GovAssist Legal LLC, a non-traditional legal services provider employing Utah-licensed lawyers to practice law.
If the person immigrating is physically present in their own country by the time the U.S. sponsor petitions on their behalf, the official path is called “consular processing”. That is because the immigrant must attend an interview at their local U.S. embassy or consulate.
At the end of the consular process, the immigrant is approved an immigrant visa so they can travel to the U.S.
The immigrant legally becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident when entering legally on U.S. territory and their Green Card is shipped to their U.S. address within a few weeks.
Types of immigrant visas through family
There are different immigrant visas, depending on the family ties.
Applications for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are processed immediately, regardless of the number of total applications:
Spouse visa (IR-1 / CR-1 visa for the spouse of a U.S. citizen)
Child visa (IR-2 visa for the unmarried children under 21 years old of a U.S. citizen / IR-3 visa for children adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen and IR-4 visa for children to be adopted within the U.S. by a U.S. citizen)
Parent visa (IR-5 visa for parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old).
Fiancé visa (K-1 visa for fiancés of U.S. citizens who plan to get married in the U.S.). As an exception, the foreign fiancé(e) doesn’t receive a Green Card automatically and must apply for one separately.
Applications for the more distant relatives of U.S. citizens and for the spouses and children of Green Card holders usually take longer to process, because there are annual limits on the number that can be issued:
F-1 visa for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children.
F-2A visa for the spouse and minor children of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.
F-2B visa for adult children of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.
F-3 visa for married children of U.S. citizens.
F-4 visa for siblings of U.S. citizens (who must be at least 21 years old).
If the person immigrating is already physically present in the United States by the time the U.S. sponsor petitions on their behalf, on a valid visa, the official path is called “adjustment of status”. That is because the immigrant adjusts their status from visa holder to Lawful Permanent Resident (also known as LPR or Green Card holder).
We currently specialize in family-based Green Cards.
All cases are handled by GovAssist Legal LLC, a non-traditional legal services provider employing Utah-licensed lawyers to practice law.
However our immigration lawyers can answer your Green Card related questions during an Attorney Strategy Call
Most frequently, people without close relatives in the U.S. apply for an employment-based Green Card.