By: Neil Dhawan, Esq.

Permanent Resident status through family is quite common.  Many people who enter the United States do so on a temporary basis with a visa and must depart after a short trip.  Permanent Resident Status Through Family (Green Card) allows you to live and work in the United States permanently.  You can purchase property, obtain government loans, start a business, enroll in school, or be employed by virtually any employer.

There are several requirements to qualify for Permanent Resident Status (Green Card) through a family member.  Family-based permanent resident status is a very common way people obtain permanent resident status.  There are several different ways available to obtain permanent resident status, such as: US Citizen or permanent resident through family members, employers, or through refugee or asylee status.

Five of the most common ways of obtaining permanent resident status are:

Categories exist for family-based permanent residence status.  The below categories apply to spouses, children, parents, and brothers and sisters.  Each category will have different waiting periods, and you qualify for the correct category.

More specifically:

  1. You are a spouse of a United States citizen or permanent resident. Marriage is one of the most common reasons people apply for Permanent Resident Status.  However, immigration officers highly scrutinize this category.
  2. Parent of a United States citizen. Parents can obtain permanent resident status, as long as their United States citizen child is 21 years of age or older.  Petitions can be filed once the child turns 21.
  3. An unmarried child of United States citizen or permanent resident. Unmarried children can seek permanent resident status.  The government ensures to differentiate between married and unmarried children, and each will have its own category.  If you have a United States Citizen parent, you may be a citizen due to derivative citizenship.  View our webpage for more information.
  4. Married son or daughter to United States citizen parents.
  5. Brothers and Sisters of United States citizens are also eligible.  Unfortunately, this category can have the longest wait before you are able to obtain permanent resident status.

Simply qualifying for permanent resident status is only part of the process.

Depending on the category in which you qualify for permanent resident status you can be in a queue with wait times from a few months to over twenty years due to statutory caps, and per country visa limits.  Even if you have determined you qualify for permanent resident status through family, you could be waiting decades until you physically obtain this status.  Thus, it is best to speak to a Shupe Dhawan immigration attorney to determine alternative methods to obtain permanent residence status.

You must have a strategy and realistic expectations!

It is best to discuss your goal for permanent resident status with a Shupe Dhawan attorney.  Simply qualifying for a category may not be sufficient to move to the United States.  Certain categories have long wait periods which make it an impractical solution.  We at Shupe Dhawan can help you can strategize which path to select for your permanent resident status to reach your goals the fastest!  Take advantage of our experience and we will guide you through the process.

Neil Dhawan is the firm’s managing partner and focuses her practice on Immigration and Real Estate Matters.  He is a seasoned attorney, with significant legal experience and has handled a wide variety of litigation and transactional matters for the firm.  

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