Family-Based Green Card


A family-based green card is one of the most common ways to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. At Heckler Law Group, we recognize how important it is to keep families together. If you are a foreign national with a family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for a family-based green card.


Eligibility for a Family-Based Green Card

There are two ways to qualify for a family-based green cards:


Immediate Relative

This category is reserved for spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens, and parents of U.S. citizens who are over the age of 21.


Family Preference

This category is for other eligible family members, including unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children, spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents, and married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children.


Applying for a Family-Based Green Card

The process of applying for this type of green card typically involves the following elements:


Immigrant Petition

The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member must file an immigrant petition to establish the relationship between the petitioner and the foreign national relative.


Visa Availability

Family preference categories have annual numerical limits, so there may be a waiting period before a visa becomes available.


Applicants in the U.S. – Adjustment of Status

Once a visa becomes available, if the foreign national is in the U.S. in a valid non-immigrant status, the foreign national must file an application to adjust status to permanent resident.   Along with the adjustment of status application, applications for temporary work authorization, and permission to travel, known as advance parole, can be filed. Prior to the processing of these applications, the foreign national will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center where fingerprints and a photograph will be taken.


Green Card Interview

Your green card interview allows you to verify the authenticity of your relationship and ensure that the foreign national relative meets the eligibility requirements.


Applicants Outside of the U.S. – Consular Processing

If the foreign national is outside of the U.S. when a visa becomes available, the remainder of the green card process would take place through the National Visa Center for preparing for an immigrant visa interview in the U.S. Consulate. 


Begin Your Green Card Application

Applying for a family-based green card can be complex, but our experienced legal team is here to help. Contact Heckler Law Group today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options for obtaining a family-based green card.

Heckler Law Group