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If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you can sponsor certain types of family members for green cards. These visas confer lawful permanent residency and allow recipients to live and work almost anywhere in the country. Family sponsorship also serves as a potential pathway to permanent United States citizenship.

Our Chicago family-based immigration lawyer at Aparicio Immigration Law can assist you with each step of the sponsorship process. Our team can assess your loved one’s eligibility and help you prepare the necessary paperwork and application materials. We have a strong track record of delivering favorable results and can provide the experienced guidance you need and deserve. 


Schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about family sponsorship by contacting us online. We assist clients in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.


 

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Who Can Sponsor Family Members for Green Cards?

Only United States citizens and lawful permanent residents can sponsor their loved ones for green cards. The types of family members you can sponsor will depend on whether you are a citizen or lawful permanent resident. 

United States citizens can sponsor:

  • Spouses
  • Parents
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21
  • Unmarried children over the age of 21
  • Married children (any age)
  • Siblings

Lawful permanent residents can sponsor:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21

Many types of more distant relatives, including grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, and uncles, are not eligible for green cards. Our Chicago family-based immigration attorney can help you understand who you can sponsor.

Spouses, parents, and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of U.S. citizens qualify as “immediate relatives.” Visas will be immediately available to immediate relatives once United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves their family petitions. However, it still typically takes USCIS at least 1 year to process family petitions. 

All other eligible relatives must apply under the “family preference” categories. Only a limited number of family preference green cards are distributed each year. This means that family preference relatives will likely need to wait for a visa to become available after their petition has been approved. The extent of the wait can vary but depends on the case backlog, the relative’s relation to the sponsor, and the relative’s country of origin. 

Securing a Family Member’s Green Card

The initial sponsoring petition seeks to confirm that a legitimate familial relationship exists. Once this has been established, USCIS will recognize that the sponsored relative is eligible for a green card.

After a visa becomes available, the sponsored relative will need to either adjust their status or go through consular processing. If your family member is currently in the United States, they can formally request an adjustment of status by submitting the appropriate paperwork to USCIS. If your family member is outside the United States, they will need to initiate consular processing through their home country’s U.S. embassy or consular office. This will involve undergoing a medical examination and meeting with a USCIS officer for an in-person interview. 

Once either process has been completed, your family member will receive their permanent green card and become a lawful permanent resident. These visas last for ten years and can generally be easily renewed. 

Removing Conditions from a Marriage-Based Green Card

If you sponsor your spouse and your marriage is less than two years old, your spouse will receive a “conditional” green card that expires after only two years. You will need to file a joint petition to “remove conditions” in the 90-day window before the conditional green card is set to expire. Failure to complete this step can result in your spouse accruing unlawful presence.

Removing conditions involves verifying your marriage is authentic and that you have continued to live a life together in the United States. Your spouse will receive a traditional green card with a ten-year validity period when conditions are successfully removed. 

Our Chicago family-based immigration lawyer at Aparicio Immigration Law can assist you with removing conditions and work to overcome any other obstacle that arises during the sponsorship process. Our attorney is an immigrant himself and understands the importance of bringing families together.


Explore your family immigration options by contacting us online today. We offer our legal services in English and Spanish.


 

Why Choose Aparicio Immigration Law?

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