Family members of Permanent Resident
Spouse and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents
Unlike in marriage to US citizen situation, if you are married to a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder), you are not immediately eligible to obtain permanent residence (a green card). There are annual limits on the number of immigrant visas. INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Years may pass by before the immigrant may receive his green card. For family sponsored immigration, the priority date is the date that the petition is properly filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).