It’s no secret that green cards are a hot topic of discussion these days, especially given the recent and pending changes to the United States immigration system. With so many questions surrounding America’s immigration laws, it is essential to understand the facts before considering an application for a green card.
What is a green card?
A green card is a nickname for the United States permanent resident card. A green card allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. You can receive a green card through a family member petition or through other kinds of petitions.
Family-based petitions for a green card can come from either a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident. These are petitions to “sponsor” certain family members who wish to immigrate to the United States permanently and legally, and several family members can benefit from such a sponsorship, including:
- A spouse
- Married or unmarried children
The spouse, parents, and unmarried children under 21 years of age of United States Citizens are considered immediate relatives. Their green cards are processed immediately without having to wait in line.
Other family members fall into “preference” categories. This is because there is a numeric limit to the number of immigrant visas made available. Family members who fall into preference categories have to wait in line for their visas to become available. It can take two to twenty years for a person’s priority date to become current. The monthly visa bulletin determines the amount of time a person will have to wait. The preference category system is broken up into five different categories:
- First preference: Unmarried sons and daughters of United States citizens (21+ years of age).
- Second preference A: The spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of legal permanent residents.
- Second Preference B: Unmarried sons and daughters of legal permanent residents (21+ years of age).
- Third preference: The married sons and daughters of United States citizens (21+ years of age).
- Fourth preference: Brothers and sisters of United States Citizens (21+ years of age). Preference categories also include “derivative benefits,” which directly affect a spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21. These benefits, in short, generally allow your dependents to receive the same immigration benefits you have (so long as you lawfully maintain those benefits yourself).
Vanderwall Immigration Can Help
Vanderwall immigration has processed hundreds of family-based petition applications with great success over the years, and it would be our pleasure to bring you and your loved ones a fresh start in the land of opportunity. We understand what the immigration officers want to see in order to approve your case, and so that knowledge – which comes from our vast experience – gives us the power to help you make the best possible arguments for approval.
Stop waiting for your loved ones to join you in America and contact Vanderwall Immigration today.
For more on how we unite families through immigration, please contact Vanderwall Immigration (located in Beaverton, Oregon) at 503-206-8414.