For so many of us, family is the most important thing in the world – and having your family close to you is a great way to be able to spend the quality time with them that they deserve.
According to the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS), “To promote family unity, immigration law allows lawful permanent residents of the United States (also called LPRs or Green Card holders) to petition for certain eligible family members to obtain immigrant visas to come and live permanently in the United States or to adjust their status to LPRs if they are currently living in the United States.”
If you live in Louisiana and are hoping to get a green card for a family member, the Jones Law Partners can help.
What is a Green Card?
A green card is a permanent resident card.
It allows non-citizens to live and work in the U.S. The number of green cards issued each year is regulated and capped, making the process a challenge to navigate.
However, our Louisiana immigration attorneys at Jones Law Partners are well-versed in current and changing regulations, working fervently to achieve your immigration goals.
Which relatives can I sponsor for a green card?
Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen are eligible for green card sponsorship.
For these purposes, immediate relatives include:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens,
- Unmarried child(ren) under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen, and
- The parent(s) of a U.S. citizen.
Other family members are eligible as well, in the following order:
- Spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age), followed by unmarried sons and daughters (21 and older) of green card holders;
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and
- Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older).
There are other options for family members that do not fit within these categories:
- Family members can immigrate to the U.S. through employment. This often includes family members with unique abilities, professors, researchers, those with advanced degrees, international managers and executives, religious or humanitarian workers, and immigrants with certain visas.
- Individuals who qualify for refugee or asylum status.
How long does it take to get a family member a green card?
Unfortunately, the timeline to get a green card depends greatly on the number of applications being processed. It’s almost impossible to predict how long it will take, but our Louisiana immigration attorneys at Jones Law Partners can try to help you figure out an estimate once we sit down and take a look a the details of your case with you.
Generally speaking, the process of applying for a green card itself is broken into two parts: the first being the visa petition, and the second being the application for permanent residence.
The visa petition is used to establish the existence of the familial relationship.
This part of the process can include an affidavit of support, which is a contract that an individual signs to agree to use their financial resources to help support the potential immigrant named. You could sign an affidavit of support when trying to petition your parents to come live with you in the U.S., for example.
With the application for permanent residence, once you are eligible, our Jones Law Partners will help you file the Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) with USCIS for your family member. USCIS will then review your application and schedule an interview. If the interview goes well, your family member will be given their green card.
Schedule a consultation with the Jones Law Partners today
You don’t have to manage the green card process alone. But it’s important to note that immigration laws and requirements can change quickly, without much warning.
Here at Jones Law Partners, we complete all applications with the utmost attention to detail. We have the skills and experience needed to help you with your own immigration needs, or that of your family. If you live in Louisiana, feel free to schedule a confidential appointment with us today. We look forward to speaking with you.