By family petitions we mean that anybody having a close family relative in US can apply for his/her permanent residence in US. This process is started when the U.S. citizen or permanent resident files a petition for alien relative (Form I-130) with INS on behalf of his relative. However, not all family relatives can qualify to obtain permanent residence. A person who is already a citizen of US is eligible to apply for alien relative on behalf of his spouse, son, daughter, parents, brother or sister so that this individual can later apply for adjustment of status in the US or for an immigrant visa at a US Embassy. After the priority date has been reached the relative of the US citizen may apply for permanent residence or submit his or her application for an immigrant visa.
Many people believe that if they get married to a US citizen their family members will automatically get a permanent resident status in US, but this is not at all true as it is important for the relative living in US to file a petition on behalf of the foreign relative, and the foreign relative must undergo an interview by the United States government for admissibility to the United States as an immigrant. This is one visa which has no preference limitations and waiting quotas rather the immediate relative present in US can file the petition as per their convenience.
Following are the types of family petitions:
Adjustment of Status : The application for the Adjustment of Status is submitted by any foreign national, already is US, who wish to become permanent resident and thus file a petition to legally acquire the “permanent resident” status in US. It must be kept in mind that only individuals who are presently living in US on a temporary visa are allowed to file their application in this respect. This is a comprehensive application process that consists of forms and application fees and thus the applicant must patiently handle all the procedures involved and be ready to bear all the money needed to process the application.
Even before the application of the Adjustment of Status is accepted, it is important for the applicant to qualify. There are several grounds which are considered to know if the applicant has qualified for getting the visa or not. It is important that the immigrant petition is approved by the USCIS. Also it is seen that whether the applicant holds a number which is availed by the Department of Homeland Security or not. If both are not found that than it takes months are years before an individual may be able to adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident.
Green Card Spouse & Family Members: This visa category permits the relatives of US citizens to immigrate easily. To be eligible to file a petition for this visa, the petitioner must qualify one of the following categories:
1. Spouse: One must file a petition if you are married to a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
2. Parent: One can file a petition if you are the parent of a child who may have been/ not have been abused by your US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or your children (under 21 years of age and unmarried) as derivative beneficiaries, only if they have not filed their own petition.
3. Child: One may file a petition if you are a child under 21 years of age and unmarried and who has been abused by a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident parent.