Lawful Permanent Residence for Family-Based Immigrants
U.S. immigration law allows certain noncitizens who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to petition to the US government for a Green Card based on specific family relationships.
Immediate Relatives of US Citizens
If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can get a Green Card based on your family relationship if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
You qualify as an immediate relative if you are:
• The spouse of a U.S. citizen,
• The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen, or
• The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).
There is one important caveat for spouses or children of a US citizen’s immediate relative. Such foreign nationals cannot qualify for a Green Card as the derivative beneficiary based on the immediate relative’s application. Spouses or children of a US citizen’s immediate relative must independently qualify for a Green Card and file their own individual application.
Family “Preference Immigrant” Categories
The US government classifies other family members eligible to apply for a Green Card in the following family “preference immigrant” categories:
- First preference (F1) Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of US citizens
- Second preference (F2A) Spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents
- Second preference (F2B) Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents
- Third preference (F3) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Fourth preference (F4) Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older)
Our attorneys are here to help you determine your eligibility to apply for a Green Card based on a family relationship. They will assist and guide you through all aspects of the 5-step application process described below.