Short Hills Family Immigration Consultants
Helping Your Loved Ones Secure Green Cards
If you are a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, you can
sponsor certain family members for
green cards, which confer lawful permanent residency. With a green card, your loved
ones will be able to live anywhere in the U.S. and, after a waiting period,
apply for permanent citizenship.
Our Short Hills family immigration consultants at Worldwide Legal Services
have over 50 years of combined professional experience and have handled
over 10,000 immigration cases. Our team understands the intricacies of
the U.S. immigration system and understands what United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) looks for when evaluating these cases.
We are passionate about helping families reunite with their loved ones
and are prepared to provide comprehensive guidance through each step of
the family petition application process.
The Family Petition Application Process
The types of family members you will be able to sponsor will depend on
whether you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Only spouses,
children, parents, and siblings are potentially eligible for sponsorship.
Immediate relative categories include:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Unmarried children (under 21 years old) of U.S. citizens
- Parents of U.S. citizens
Family preference relative categories include:
- Unmarried adult children (over 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens
- Spouses of U.S. lawful permanent residents
- Unmarried children (under 21 years old) of U.S. lawful permanent residents
- Married children (any age) of U.S. citizens
- Siblings of U.S. citizens
To begin the sponsorship process, the petitioning citizen or lawful permanent
resident will need to submit application materials to USCIS. Documentation
included in this application will establish that a valid and eligible
family relationship exists between you and your loved one.
If USCIS approves the petition, immediate relatives can immediately apply
for their green cards through an
adjustment of status (if they are already in the U.S.) or
consular processing (if they are abroad).
Family preference relatives must wait for a visa to become available: USCIS
only issues a limited number of visas across each family preference category
The extent of your wait will depend on your loved one’s:
- Specific category
- Their country of origin
- And the current backlog
Our Short Hills family immigration consultants can help you prepare your
petition materials and manage all communications with USCIS. If you are
sponsoring a loved one under the family preference category, we can assess
current conditions and advise on what
Obtaining Green Cards Through Marriage
Obtaining a green card through marriage requires demonstrating the legitimacy
of your relationship to USCIS officials. We can guide you through this
process and ensure that you provide all of the necessary evidence.
You can begin the sponsorship process as soon as you and your spouse are
legally married. The first step will involve submitting an application
package to USCIS that establishes the marital relationship. You will need
to prove that you are a current U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
and provide a copy of your marriage certificate.
Do You Automatically Get a Green Card When You Marry a U.S. Citizen?
No, you and your spouse will also need to provide evidence that demonstrates
the authenticity of your marriage.
This will generally require submitting documentation of:
- Joint accounts
- Joint credit cards
- Joint health insurance policies
- Jointly owned property (including a mortgage or auto leases
- You should also plan to provide proof that you cohabitate and share a life together
Our team can help you prepare your application materials and ensure that
you submit a sufficient level of evidence. We can also help you respond
to any additional Requests for Evidence sent by USCIS. Once any RFEs have
been addressed, most couples will receive a decision within 15 months.
If your application is approved, what comes next will depend on whether
you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. If you are a citizen,
your spouse can immediately seek their green card through consular processing
or an adjustment of status. If you are a lawful permanent resident, your
spouse will need to wait for a visa to become available.
If your spouse is currently in the United States, they can apply to adjust
their status once a visa is available. This process confirms that your
fiancé is eligible for a green card. If your spouse is abroad,
they will instead apply for consular processing through the National Visa
The final steps involve participating in an in-person interview with a
USCIS official. If your spouse is already in the United States, you will
attend the interview together at the nearest field office. If they are
abroad, they will attend the interview alone at their country’s
U.S. embassy or consulate.
The interview seeks to again confirm the marriage is authentic. The official
will likely ask questions about your marriage and the evidence you provided
with your application.
We can help you overcome obstacles and avoid common mistakes when sponsoring
loved ones for green cards. Schedule a consultation by calling
(908) 948-8909 or
contacting us online.