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Helping your family enter the U.S. when you have a green card

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2022 | Family-Based Immigration |

People can enter the country for many purposes, but many immigrants gain entry to the United States of America based on their family relationships. There are numerous different immigration programs that benefit people in different situations. United States citizens typically have the most options for helping family members enter the country. They can sponsor not only their immediate family members but also extended family members.

However, there are family-based immigration options that apply to others, including those in the country with a green card. As a lawful permanent resident, you can potentially stay in the United States for the rest of your life. You can also use your status as a lawful permanent resident (“green card holder”) to help your family members enter the country as well.

What immigration opportunities can you provide to the people you love as someone with a green card?

You can help immediate family members

One of the most popular immigration options for those with green cards is the family preference visa program. The visas available through this immigration program can lead to green cards for your loved ones.

The program offers first consideration for family members of United States citizens. The first preference category is for the unmarried children of citizens. Although the lowest preference category is for siblings, such visas are only available to the family of citizens. Those related to a permanent resident fall into the lower preference categories.

Permanent residents can typically only help their spouse or their children enter the country. Even then, there are limits on when their children are eligible. It will be easiest for you to help an unmarried child under the age of 21. However, there is another, slightly lower preference category of visa that can help children over the age of 21 who have not yet married.

Married children would have to find alternate means of qualifying for a visa as the family preference visa program does not provide opportunities for you to help them. Still, if you were to naturalize and become a citizen, you may then be able to support a married child’s attempt to lawfully enter the United States. Learning more about family-based immigration can help you support the people who mean the most to you.