Options for Relatives of Lawful Permanent Residents
A lawful permanent resident (LPR) may petition for his/her spouse and unmarried children (regardless of age) to immigrate to the United States. However, Congress has limited the number of family members who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is generally a long waiting period before an immigrant visa becomes available.
The first step in this process is for the permanent resident to file an I-130 Immigrant Petition for the spouse or child, accompanied by proof of a bona fide relationship. This filing determines the family member’s place in line for a green card. Once the petition is approved and a visa number is available, the foreign relative can apply for permanent residence either through immigrant visa processing or adjustment of status.
If living abroad, spouses and children of permanent residents can apply for permanent residence through immigrant visa processing at the US Embassy or consulate in his/her home country. If approved, they will then enter the US as permanent residents.
If the foreign spouse or child is already in the United States in lawful temporary status, such as an F-1 student or H-1B worker he/she may apply for permanent residence without leaving the United States if there are no other bars to adjustment, such as status violations, fraud, criminal issues or previous deportation orders.
In certain circumstances, foreign nationals who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States because they have overstayed their visas or violated their status may be eligible for an unlawful presence waiver. The provisional waiver process allows such individuals to obtain the waiver in the United States before they depart for their immigrant visa interview, if they can show extreme hardship to their LPR spouse or parent.
The immigrant visa process can be lengthy and full of obstacles. Immigration Law Associates, P.C. has years of experience in assisting clients in overcoming challenges along the way. We are more than ready to support you through the steps of your case until you are reunited with your family members. Please contact us at 847-763-8500 to schedule a consultation today!