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Family - Based Green Card

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What is a U.S. Permanent Resident Permit (Green Card)?

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.

Requirements for a Green Card through family sponsorship:

The U.S. sponsor:

Must be a direct relative of the immigrant (parent, spouse, fiancé, child or sibling).
Must hold U.S. citizenship (or even Permanent Resident status if petitioning for spouses and children).
Must currently reside in the U.S.

The person immigrating:

Must prove a genuine relationship with the U.S. sponsor.
Must have a clean criminal record, means to support themselves and no communicable diseases (read here who is considered inadmissible by the U.S. government).

What is a family-based immigrant visa?

Family-based immigrant visas are legal ways of immigrating to the U.S. and getting a Green Card, for those residing outside the U.S.

Consular processing

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).

What is the adjustment of status?

Adjustment of status is the legal way of getting a Green Card for those immigrants who are already in the U.S. on a valid visa.
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).

How to apply for a Green Card in the absence of close relatives in the U.S.?

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.
All our Green Card cases are handled by GovAssist Legal LLC, a non-traditional legal services provider employing Utah-licensed lawyers to practice law.

Get assistance throughout your Green Card journey:

Your personal attorney

Have an immigration lawyer along the way to stay ahead of potential obstacles and to avoid any unnecessary delays.

24/7 Limitless support, anywhere in the world

Get answers to your questions and concerns on short notice, no matter which time zone you call home.

User-friendly digital tools

Speed up the process with our digital tools, from any device, to make your Green Card journey that much smoother of a ride.

Decades of experience

No matter how complex your personal story, your immigration attorney remains with you through each of the steps.