Family members of US Citizen
Spouse, parent and unmarried children (under 21) of a U.S. citizen are “immediate relatives.” There are no limits on the number of immediate relatives who are allowed to apply for permanent residence each year. This means that papers can be filed immediately without waiting availability of immigrant visas.
If a spouse, parent or unmarried child of a U.S. citizen is physically present in the U.S., whether in current nonimmigrant status or in expired nonimmigrant status, the foreign national may be able to apply for a green card (adjust his status) from within the U.S. by filing an application for Adjustment of Status. If the foreign national is not physically present in the U.S., he may be able to apply for lawful permanent resident status through immigrant visa processing with the U.S. Embassy in his home country.
Application. The U.S. citizen must file on behalf of the foreign national the adjustment of status application package with the USCIS. The package must include the report of medical examination and vaccination record of the foreign national.
Fingerprints Appointment. In about a month after filing the adjustment of status paperwork, the foreign national is scheduled to be fingerprinted at an authorized fingerprint site. In case the foreign national cannot appear to be fingerprinted on the date and time specified in the appointment letter, he must reschedule his fingerprints appointment by filing a rescheduling request with USCIS.
Adjustment of Status (Green Card) Interview. In about two (2) or three (3) months a couple is scheduled to appear in person for an adjustment of status interview at the local immigration office. The interview notice is usually mailed to the couple at least two (2) weeks before the interview date. The U.S. citizen is required to attend the adjustment of status interview. If the U.S. citizen cannot appear at the interview in the date and time specified in the appointment letter, request to reschedule the interview must be filed with USCIS. At interview a couple must present sufficient documentary evidence of their bona fide (real) marriage so that an immigration officer could make a decision on the adjustment of status application.
In case of the adjustment of status application filed on behalf of a parent USCIS can adjust the status of the parent without calling the parent of the U.S. citizen for an interview. USCIS will inform the U.S. citizen whether his parent has to attend interview or not. In case of an interview it is the responsibility of the foreign parent to find a competent translator who can accompany him to the interview if needed.
Decision. In majority of cases the immigration officer will inform the applicant about his decision on the applicant’s adjustment of status application. In rare situations the immigration officer may not make the decision about the adjustment of status application on the date of the adjustment of status interview. In such a case the officer will inform the applicant of how and when the application will receive the decision. When the case is approved the status of the spouse and accompanying children of the U.S. citizen will be adjusted to permanent resident status. They will receive a conditional green card (2-year green card). In a year and nine (9) months a couple must file the petition to remove the conditions on residence.
Married/Unmarried Sons and Daughters, and Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizen
Many people get Green Cards (become permanent residents) through family members. You may be eligible to get a green card if you are married/unmarried sons or daughters, and brothers and/or sisters of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older. Waiting time is different in every situation.