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Virginia Immigration Lawyer Explains Permanent Residency Via A Family Member

An alien is able to obtain permanent residency (also known as a “green card”) if there is a family member who is either a United States citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR) and is willing to sponsor the alien. If you are in this circumstance, call a DC immigration lawyer.

You, as an alien, may be eligible for permanent residency based on your relationship to a particular family member IF that family member is either a:

  1. United States Citizen and is your:
    • Parent;
    • Spouse;
    • Son or daughter over 21 years of age; or
    • Sibling over 21 years of age.
  2. Lawful Permanent Resident and is your:
    • Spouse or
    • Parent, if you are unmarried.

If the sponsoring family member is a United States citizen and is the parent, spouse, or child over 21 years of age, the alien qualifies as an immediate relative and should contact a DC immigration lawyer. Therefore, the immigrant petition and the application for permanent residency can be submitted simultaneously if the alien is in the United States. If the alien is outside the United States, only the immigrant petition, Form I-130, is filed. Upon approval, the petition is forwarded to the U.S. Consulate abroad for consular processing of permanent residency. In certain instances, an immediate relative outside the United States may apply for a non-immigrant K-3 or K-4 visa, permitting the alien to legally enter the United States while the immigrant petition is pending in lieu of consular processing.

For any other family category, the immigrant petition must first be submitted and approved before the application of adjustment is filed with the local immigration office. Upon approval, the alien must wait for a visa number to become available. The visa number is available in accordance with the priority date, the date upon which the immigration petition is originally filed. To determine which priority dates are currently being processed, click here for the United States Department of States’ monthly Visa Bulletin.

The petitioning family member must also demonstrate the financial ability to support the sponsored aliens for a certain period of time. Most petitioners will qualify if they earn an annual income that is 125% above poverty for their particular household size; however, ask your DC immigration lawyer about your specific circumstances.

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