U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) are allowed to sponsor their relatives for their own green cards. Sponsoring means the U.S. citizen or Green Card holders must first file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to have their relative be considered for a green card. The process of obtaining a family-based green card is, however, long and often frustrating.
Vestal Immigration Law has an experienced family immigration attorney who helps clients in North Carolina with their family immigration needs.
Obtaining a green card based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder depends on the type of relationship. Immigration law divides family immigration into two broad categories: immediate relatives and preference.
The family-based immigration process starts with the U.S. citizen or Green Card holder filing a petition with (USCIS). The petition provides information about the U.S. citizen and the type of family relationship. The petition must be accompanied by evidence that the family relationship exists and is genuine. Many petitions are denied on the grounds the family relationship is not genuine but an attempt to circumvent U.S. immigration law.
If the petition filed is for an immediate relative, then the noncitizen relative can have their green card application filed concurrently with the petition. If the petition is not for an immediate family member, then the noncitizen relative can only file their green card application after the petition is approved.
For concurrent filings where the petition and green card application meet the criteria and are filed at the same time, and the relative is in the U.S., the relative can also apply for a work permit to work while waiting for the processing of their green card.
If you are in North Carolina and wish to sponsor a family member, contact Vestal Immigration Law today to learn more about family immigration and how we can help you.
We are dedicated to helping businesses, individuals, and families navigate the federal immigration system. The more you know, the more empowered you become.
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