What is a Family-Based Green Card?

green card

Many people from various countries want to immigrate to the United States with a Green Card. The US provides multiple types of Green Cards, including the Family-Based Green Card. It’s specifically for people who want to join their families already residing in the United States.

Once an applicant gets a Family-Based Green Card, they can move permanently to the US, live in any state, and get employed by a US employer. Applying for a family-based Green Card can be lengthy, but Oakland immigration attorneys can help with the application to ensure it goes smoothly.

What Is The Eligibility For A Family-Based Green Card?

Family-Based Green Cards are available in many types and apply to different categories of people, so the requirements may vary. However, the primary requirement is that the family member living in the United States must have a valid address. Their status must be verified through valid residence documents showing that they’re Lawful Permanent Residents.

The applicants living in another country must prove their family relations to the person in the United States. An applicant may be eligible to apply as an immediate relative to a US citizen under the following categories:

  • Spouse of the US citizen
  • Parent of a US citizen who is 21 years or above
  • An unmarried child under 21 of a US citizen

Other applicants eligible for a Family-Based Green Card include:

  • Relatives of a US citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Fiancé of a US citizen
  • Child to a fiancé of a US citizen
  • VAWA self-petitioner

Applicants must also not have any criminal records. If you’re concerned about eligibility issues when applying for a Family-Based Green Card for your loved one, you can consult Family-Based Green Card lawyers in Oakland for legal guidance.

How Can I Apply For Family-Based Green Cards?

The application procedure for Family-Based Green Cards varies depending on the type of Green Card. However, the general process entails two significant parts:

  • The person in the US initiates the process by filing an application for their family member at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Upon approval of the application, the family member must apply to a US Embassy or Consulate in their home country.

The application procedure begins in the US, and it must be approved for the applicant to start their petition at the US embassy in their home country.

Filing the Petition

The first step is to fill out Form 1-130 or the Petition for Alien Relatives by the US Citizen or the Lawful Permanent Resident, and then submit it to the USCIS. They also must pay the necessary fees for the USCIS to start processing the petition. Immigration attorneys in Oakland can provide legal guidance to minimize the mistakes that arise during the application.  

Next, the petition proceeds to the Department of Homeland Security, where the processing may take a few months. The applicants will be notified of the application status when the USCIS completes processing. If the USCIS doesn’t approve the application, it will inform the applicant of the reasons for the denial.

What Happens After My Petition Is Approved?

If the Petition is approved, it will proceed to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will be the primary contact for the applicants on the progress of their application. The NVC will provide the foreign applicant with all the necessary information and instructions, including the case number and invoice number, to help initiate the application at the home-based Consulate.

Medical Examination And Vaccination

A foreign Family-Based Green Card applicant must meet specific medical and vaccination requirements. They must get the necessary medical checkups and vaccines to migrate to the United States. Upon approval of the application, the information they receive from the NVC will include the medical procedures and vaccinations to undertake.

The checkups must be done by a licensed doctor who must also sign them. The applicant then sends these records and the supporting file back to the NVC.

Compile Supporting Documents File

In addition to the application form, the foreign-based applicant must attach supporting documents that show why the NVC should allow them to migrate to the United States. These include:

  • A valid passport that will still be valid for at least six months after the applicant enters the United States
  • A police certificate or court records
  • Proof of vaccination and other medical records
  • A signed Affidavit of Support from the US resident
  • Military records for applicants who served in the military

Attending The Interview

Every applicant who wants to migrate to the United States must attend an interview at their home-based Consulate. Once the NVC verifies the documents the applicant submits, it’ll schedule an interview, which the applicant must attend at the scheduled time and date. You can consult a Family-Based Green Card lawyer on what your loved one needs to do in preparation.

Receiving The NVC Packet To Travel To The US

Once the Family-Based Green Card is approved, the foreign-based applicant can freely travel to the United States. The Embassy will stamp their visa on their passport and give them a package to bring to the United States.

They mustn’t open the package before arriving in the country. Only immigrant officials can open the package at any US entry point to decide whether the applicant has permission to enter the country. If, for any reason, your loved one is denied entry, you can contact Family-Based Green Card lawyers in Oakland for guidance.

How Many Relatives Can An Immigrant Typically Sponsor?

Typically, an immigrant can sponsor an average of 3 relatives, including their spouse and children. A maximum of 480,000 visas are available each fiscal year, but there is no limit to the number of visas for immediate relatives.

An Experienced Immigration Attorney Fighting For Your American Dream

One of the ways to migrate to the United States is by applying for a Family-Based Green Card. You can bring your spouse, siblings, fiancé, and children based on the various types of Family-Based Green Cards. However, the process can be long and demanding.

A Family-Based Green Card attorney in Oakland can help you through the process. Our lawyers have experience and knowledge in immigration law and can guide you on all the steps required. We have dedicated years of service helping families reconnect through the immigration court process and can help you. Contact us to schedule a FREE case evaluation.

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