Who does this apply to?
If you are a U.S citizen, or a lawful permanent resident and you have a relative that lives in a different country, you can petition for your relative to become a lawful permanent resident (or a “green card” holder) in the U.S. The process of petitioning a relative abroad for a green card is referred to as “Consular Processing”.
Who can you petition for?
As a U.S citizen or lawful permanent resident, you can petition certain relatives:
U.S citizens can petition for the following relatives:
Unmarried children under 21 years of age;
Unmarried sons or daughters 21 years of age or older;
Married sons or daughters of any age;
Brothers or sisters (you must be 21 years of age or older);
Mother or father (you must be 21 years of age or older).
Lawful permanent residents can petition for:
Unmarried child under 21 years of age
Unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older.
What is the process for petitioning a relative?
There are three main steps in the process:
- You, the “Petitioner”, will first file a “Petition for Alien Relative” with USCIS in the U.S. After the petition is approved, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center (that is also located in the U.S.).
- The National Visa Center (the NVC) will collect additional documents from you the Petitioner and also from your relative- the Beneficiary. Once the case is ready, the NVC will transfer your case to the U.S. Department of State consulate/embassy at your relative’s home country.
- Your relative will attend an interview at the consulate/embassy. Upon approval at the interview, your relative will receive an Immigrant visa. The Immigrant visa allows for your relative to enter the U.S as a lawful permanent resident.
Check out the video below for more information about petitioning a family member.