Eligible family members of American citizens or US permanent residents have the opportunity to receive a Green Card to live in the USA for an unlimited amount of time as Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States. Approximately 500,000 US immigration visas and Green Cards are issued each year to foreign nationals living outside of the United States who are the eligible family members of American citizens or US permanent residents. Thousands of additional Green Cards are also granted to foreign nationals legally living in the USA who are the eligible family members of American citizens or US permanent residents through a process known as “adjustment of status” (i.e., their status in the USA is adjusted from temporary resident to permanent resident). Eligible family members who may qualify for family-based US immigration include immediate relatives of American citizens; and certain other relatives of US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.
For the purposes of US immigration, an “immediate relative” of an American citizen is their spouse; or their unmarried child under 21 years of age; or the parent of a US citizen who is at least 21-years-old. In addition to the “immediate relatives” of American citizens, “other relatives” of US citizens may receive a Green Card through the “family-based preference” categories which include: an American citizen’s unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older; the married daughter or son of a US citizen; and the brother or sister of an American citizen who is at least 21 years of age. Certain family members of a US permanent resident may be granted a Green Card through the “family-based preference” categories, such as: a permanent resident’s spouse; their unmarried child who is under 21 years of age; or their unmarried child who is 21 years of age or older. Please note that there are other categories of foreign nationals who may be able to receive a US Green Card through the family-based US immigration option.