Family-Based Green Card
Many people from different countries want to legally immigrate to the U.S.. This is the reason that the U.S. government has introduced different types of green cards for immigrants. Employment-based greencard, family-based green card, and the green card lottery are a few different types of green cards that are issued by the U.S. government to different immigrants.On this page, you will find all the information about these. We will discuss a family-based green card, its different types, requirements, the process of applying for one, and other requirements.
What is a Family-Based Green Card?
A family-based green card is basically an immigrant visa that allows you to join your close family member living in the USA. The family member must be your spouse, sibling, parents, or child. Other relatives like cousins, grandparents, uncles, and aunts are not eligible to apply. If you’re getting a green card, it means that you will be allowed to permanently live in the U.S. You can live in a state of your choice,study there, and work for a U.S. employer. You can easily get a U.S. driving license, and travel in and out of the U.S. for specific time periods. Most importantly, if you live there for some years without violating any of their laws, you would be eligible for citizenship. There are different types of family-based green cards. Depending on the type, there could be an annual limit for the number of visas issued each year. So, if you have applied for this green card before the annual limit is reached, you can get the green card that same year. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until you’ll be able to apply again next year.
Different Types of Family-Based Green Cards
As discussed earlier, there are many different types of family-based green cards. The difference between these green cards depends upon the status of the person who is your family member and already holds a green card or is a U.S. citizen. Based on your relative, here are the following types of these green cards.
Family-Based Visas For U.S. Citizens
IR-1 Visa: If your spouse lives in the U.S., then you can apply for this visa.
IR-2 Visa: This visa is issued to unmarried and under 21 years old children of U.S. citizens.
IR-3 Visa: This visa is issued to children that are adopted by U.S. citizens.
IR-4 Visa: This visa is issued to children adopted within the U.S. by U.S. citizens.
IR-5 VISA: This visa is issued to parents of at least 21-year-old U.S. citizens.
These visas are also known as immediate relative visas, and the good news is they do not have any annual cap. This means,anyone who applies will get the visa as soon as they complete the requirements regardless of the number of applications.
Family-Based Visas For Permanent Residents
If your family members living in the U.S. are not U.S. citizens and are lawful permanent residents, then, there following family-based visas of which you can apply for.
F-1 visa: This visa is issued to unmarried children of U.S. permanent residents.
F-2 visa: This visa is issued to the spouse or children of U.S. permanent residents. It has further two sub-categories. The F-2A visa is for minor children, and the F-2B visa is for adult children.
F-3 visa: This visa is issued to married children of U.S. permanent residents who will go to the USA with their spouse and minor children.
F-4 visa: This visa is issued to siblings of U.S. permanent residents and citizens who will go to the U.S. with their spouse and minor children.
These visas are also known as family preference visas. They do have an annual cap for the number of visas issued each year. The F-1 and F-2 visas have an annual cap of 23,400 and 114,200 visas, respectively. Similarly, the F-3 and F-4 visas have an annual cap of 23,400 and 65,000 visas, respectively. If the annual limit is reached for the visas, then the remaining applicants have to wait for the upcoming years until it is their turn.
Requirements for Family-Based Green Card
If you’re curious to know about the requirements for these green cards, then you must keep in mind that there are different types of green cards that apply to different people. The requirements may vary depending on your case. A common and most important requirement for all family-based green cards is that your relative in the U.S. must have a valid address and verified identity. In simple words, they must be a legal U.S. citizen or Lawful permanent resident. The applicants must prove that they have a close relationship with the person living in the U.S. They also need to prove that they don’t have any criminal record in the past. If the person applying for a green card is the spouse of a U.S. citizen, then they need to provide a valid marriage certificate. If the relationship is between parents and children, they must submit a valid birth certificate as proof of their relationship.
How to apply for Family-Based Green Cards?
Until now, you might be wondering how you can apply for a family-based green card. As there are many different types of family-based green cards, the process of applying may also vary, however, a few general steps are discussed below. Essentially, applications for these green cards are divided into two parts. U.S. permanent residents and citizens have to file a petition on behalf of their family members at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the petition is approved, then the family member living in a foreign country must apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country for further procedure. From the above points, it is clear that the application procedure must start within the U.S. when a U.S. citizen or LPR holder files a petition to the U.S. authorities. If the petition is not approved, then the applicant cannot apply for a green card at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
Filing The Petition
For registering a petition, the person living in the U.S. must fill the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relatives. The U.S. resident or LPR must file the petition in all the necessary sections and then submit it to USCIS. There is a petition fee that must be paid when filing the petition if you want it to be processed. Once the petition is filed, the homeland security department will go through the petition, this process can take a few months. When the petition is processed, the person who filed the petition will be notified about the petition’s status. If your petition is rejected, then the USCIS will let you know why your petition was rejected. If your petition is approved, then it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). You will then need to get in touch with the National Visa Center if you’d like to further process your application for a green card. Once the National Visa Center have processed your petition, they will then send a package to the applicant living in a foreign country. In this package, they provide you further instructions and information on the application. It will also contain your case number and invoice I.D. number, which is needed to start an application at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
Applying for the IR-2 visa
As discussed earlier, if you are applying for Immediate Relative visas, then there is no annual limit cap. It means that the applicant won’t need to wait, and they can start their procedure at the U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as their petition is approved. But suppose you are applying for a family preference visa. In that case, the applicant will have to wait until their priority date is current for applying at the U.S. embassy or consulate. The application is processed in three simple steps.
All immigrants that are immigrating to the U.S. are required to fill a DS-260 form. This is electronic for which should be filled by all applicants. You can access your application by using the National Visa center’s case number that links to your approved petition. The applicants are required to fill all necessary sections. These sections will include questions about the applicant’s background, qualifications, and purpose of immigrating to the U.S. When you submit your DS-260 form electronically, it will take you to a confirmation page on which they will provide you with a confirmation number. Make sure to print this page and attach it with your supporting documents.
The United States of America has certain requirements for medical and vaccination that must be fulfilled by the U.S. citizens and all the people immigrating to the U.S. If you are planning to immigrate to the U.S., then you must undergo some medical tests and vaccinations. The package from the National Visa Services includes all the details about the procedure of medical and vaccination. You must undergo your medical examination and vaccination through a licensed doctor or physician, you can collect more information from the U.S. embassy or consulate. You’re Required to attach your medical and vaccination reports with your supporting documents.
Along with your application, you also need to prepare a set of supporting documents to give the National Visa Center a valid reason to know why you are immigrating to the U.S. The applicant must send the supporting documents to the NVC, however, you must keep in mind that the NVC can also ask for additional documents. A list of supporting documents is as follows:
- A valid passport that is valid for more than six months after you’ve planned for the immigration.
- A signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support from the U.S. petitioner.
- The printed confirmation page of the DS-260 form.
- Documents of your medical examination and vaccination.
- Two visa photographs that must comply with the photo requirements of the application.
- Clearance certificate from court or police department.
- If you served in the military, then you must bring your service records.
Every immigrant who is planning to immigrate to the U.S. has to pass an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. The NVC will first make sure that you have provided them with all the necessary documents. If they believe that your application is ready to be processed forward, they will call you for an interview. You will be notified of the date, time, and location of your interview. You must attend the interview on the notified date and time and answer all questions of the interviewer if you want to qualify for the green card.
If your green card is approved, it means you can travel to the U.S. freely. The visa will be stamped on your passport. The embassy will also provide you a pacckage that you need to bring with you when you first enter the U.S. Make sure to keep the package sealed and do not open it at any cost. Only U.S officials are allowed to open the package at the time of entry.
This is everything that you need to know about family-based green cards. You must keep in mind that you might be asked to pay some fee from time to time during the application procedure.t is always recommended to take professional help. You can contact our professionals at www.i-immigrate.org, and our professionals will help you your application and guide you through all documentation and interview procedures.