Getting a Permanent Resident Card, or green card, is a major step for individuals and their families seeking to live and work legally in the United States. It provides lawful permanent residency status, allowing you to enjoy various benefits and protections.
Family-based sponsorships for green cards are often the preferred choice for many immigrants in Atlanta.
If you have family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, they can sponsor you for a Green Card. Immediate relatives, including spouses, unmarried children under 21 and parents of U.S. citizens, have priority. Other family members, such as adult children and siblings, may also be eligible but may face longer waiting times.
The application process for a family-sponsored Green Card consists of several steps:
- Your sponsoring family member files a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) on your behalf
- After approval, you must wait for an available visa number based on your relationship and preference category
- After a visa number becomes available, you can submit an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)
- Attend a biometrics appointment, if required, for fingerprinting and background checks
- Attend an interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine your eligibility
If approved, you will receive your green card.
If you are outside the United States, you can undergo consular processing. After USCIS approves the I-130 petition, it goes to the National Visa Center and they will inform you when a visa number is available. You will then attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.
The waiting time for a family-sponsored Green Card can vary based on the sponsoring family member’s status and the category of your relationship. Immediate relatives typically have shorter waiting times, while other categories may face longer waits due to visa quotas.
With its diverse immigrant community, Atlanta offers resources and support to help you navigate getting a green card for yourself and your family.