Green Cards & Residency

Family-Based Immigration & Lawful Permanent Residents

When deciding whether your family member can petition for you to become a lawful permanent resident, you must examine two factors: your family member’s status in the United States and your family member’s relationship to you.  To file a petition on your behalf, your family member must either be a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident living in the United States.  If your family member is a United States citizen, you will wait less time to obtain a green card.

In regard to the amount of time you will wait to receive a visa, it is important to determine whether you are an immediate relative of a United States citizen.  If you are an immediate relative of a United States citizen, you are considered “current,” which means that you will only have to wait for your visa to be processed; there is no additional wait time.

A United States citizen’s “immediate relatives” include her spouse and unmarried children who are under the age of 21.  If the U.S. citizen is 21 years old or older, her “immediate relatives” will also include her parents.

If you are not an “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen, then you may fall into a “family preference category.”  When examining the various options that are available to you, it is important that you and your Immigration Attorney examine the most recent Visa Bulletin.  The United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs updates the Visa Bulletin every month based on their most recent number of visa applications.  The Visa Bulletin will tell you whether you fit into a family preference category and how long you will have to wait to obtain a green card if you are currently residing in the United States and a visa if you are currently located outside of the United States.

Another factor to keep in mind when examining the Visa Bulletin is your country of birth or your country of chargeability.  If you were born in China (mainland born), India, Mexico, or the Philippines, then your wait time will be longer than the wait time for other similarly-situated immigrant applicants who do not share your country of chargeability.  The wait times for each of these four countries vary; therefore, it is imperative that you examine the most recent Visa Bulletin.

Applying for a green card or lawful permanent residency can be an overwhelming and complicated process.  If you would like an Immigration Attorney to guide you through this process from your initial consultation to your green card interview, contact Amara Immigration Law, LLC today at Our Boston Immigration Attorney will meet with you to review the most recent Visa Bulletin.  If we determine that you are eligible to apply for a green card, we will compile and file a green card application on your behalf as soon as possible.  •  617-505-1010

A Greater Boston Immigration & Criminal Defense Law Firm