U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) can sponsor their relatives for immigration to the U.S.

There are an unlimited number of green cards available each year for the immediate relatives of United States citizens and a limited number for the relatives of green card holders. This policy is to allow families to live together as a unit.


People considered immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen are: 

     Spouses of U.S. citizens

     Recent widows or widowers of U.S. citizens. They must have already started the application process or lost their spouse no more than two years before beginning the application.

     A U.S. citizen’s unmarried children under the age of 21

     The parents of an adult U.S. citizen who is over 21. If parents are abused by a U.S. citizen child who dies or loses their status as a result of the abuse, the parent victim may still apply for a green card. They must prove the abuse as well as exhibit good moral character.

    Step-children and step-parents of a U.S. citizen if the marriage which created the relationship took place before the child’s 18th birthday.

    Adopted children of a U.S. citizen whose adoption was finalized before their 16th birthday. Adopted children who are not orphans must live with the U.S. parents for two years before applying for their green card. Adoption matters are quite complicated, so it is best to work with the adoption agency and an experienced attorney to fully understand you and your child's rights.

United States immigration law recognizes the importance of families being together. Though the process of seeking permanent residency through one of these family-based methods may seem complicated, there is a way to deal with any unique family situation. As soon as you know that you or your loved ones want to make a permanent move to the U.S., contact an immigration attorney who can help you get the best possible plan in place.