Permanent Residence ("Green Cards") For Immediate Relatives

One of the most common family-based immigration pathways is through an immediate relative. Legal permanent residents (green card holders) and U.S. citizens may sponsor certain relatives to immigrate to the United States. While filing an immigrant petition is not a guarantee that your permanent residence will be approved, it is nonetheless a critical step in the process.

Many people assume that the process for immigrating through a relative is quick and easy. In fact, depending on your circumstances, the process can be exceedingly complex and can take months or years to complete.

Learn More About Your Immigration Options | Experienced, Dedicated Guidance

At the law firm of Lisa E. Battan, P.C., in Boulder, Colorado, we can walk you through your options and navigate the intricacies of the immigration process. Our firm exerts every effort to streamline the process and minimize delays to the fullest extent possible. We provide detailed, hands-on guidance to help reunite families and turn clients' immigration dreams into reality.

Immigration lawyer Lisa Battan has more than 17 years of experience handling thousands of immigration cases.

Sponsoring An Immediate Relative

The process for sponsoring a loved one depends on the familial relationship and the circumstances of the U.S. relative and prospective immigrant. Some immigrants may be able to obtain a permanent residence (a "green card") through filing for adjustment of status while remaining in the United States. Some without a legal entry into the U.S. — including undocumented immigrants and some who have violated their U.S. legal status — may have to return to their home country for consular processing.

The law imposes annual numerical quotas for certain types of immediate relatives. Generally, U.S. citizens can sponsor the following relatives without being subject to the numerical quota:

  • Spouse
  • Minor, unmarried children (under age 21)
  • Parents (if the sponsor is over age 21)

Other types of close relationships that are subject to the quotas fall under the following categories:

  • 1st preference: Unmarried adult children (age 21 or older) of U.S. citizens
  • 2nd preference: Spouses, minor children and unmarried adult children of legal permanent residents
  • 3rd preference: Married children of U.S. citizens
  • 4th preference: Siblings of adult U.S. citizens

The time frame for receiving an immigrant visa depends on the preference category and the priority date — that is, the date your immigrant petition was properly filed.

Contact A Boulder-Area Family Immigration Attorney Today | Se Habla Español

To learn more about pursuing permanent residence (a "green card") for an immediate relative or family member, contact Lisa Battan, a family-based immigration attorney in Boulder, at 303-444-8668 or 866-614-8668. Our firm handles immigration matters throughout Colorado and nationwide.

We offer services in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Romanian.