For many immigrants, adjusting their status to secure a green card is their primary goal. A green card establishes someone as a permanent resident, which means that they can potentially stay in the country for the rest of their life, in many cases.
Those with green cards have fewer reasons to worry about removal from the United States and less recurring paperwork to complete and submit. They generally only need to send in renewal requests every ten years. Permanent residents are also in a position to help some of their close family members enter the United States.
Immediate family members could qualify for family preference visas
When those with green cards seek to bring a family member to the United States, they often turn to the family preference visa program to achieve their goals. Although the highest preference category is for unmarried children of United States citizens, there are several options that apply to the family members of permanent residents.
Their spouses are eligible under the second preference category. Their children may also potentially qualify for a visa and later a green card but only in certain circumstances. The best opportunities are available to unmarried children under the age of 21. However, there is a second, slightly lower preference category that can provide visas for unmarried children of permanent residents who are over the age of 21.
Married children and other extended family members, like parents and siblings, are typically not eligible for green cards if their family member in the United States is a permanent resident. However, someone can significantly expand their family immigration options by naturalizing. The process of becoming a United States citizen will increase someone’s protection and their ability to help family members lawfully enter and reside in the country.
Seeking legal guidance to learn more about the immigration opportunities afforded to the family members of immigrants can potentially help people to extend their personal good fortune to others that they love.