Who Can Sponsor A Family Based Green Card?
Within the family category, there is a visa bulletin that is issued by the State Department and they post the quotas in the family category every month online, determining who can qualify. There are three relatives that are not tied to a quota and are entitled to Immediate Relative (IR) status of a green card: the spouse of a US citizen, the parents of a US citizen, and the minor children under the care of a US citizen. When those petitions are filed, those people are immediately eligible for their green card and they are not listed on the visa bulletin.
On the visa bulletin, they break down the numbers of the categories. The F-1 category is for unmarried children of US citizens over the age of 21. Currently, they are backlogged from 2012. People who filed a petition for their children in the year 2012 are now being processed for a green card. The next category is the F-2 category and it has 2 parts. The F-2A is for the spouse and minor children of a lawful permanent resident. If you have a green card and you are married, you petition for your spouse without waiting for citizenship. That is backlogged about three years at this time. If you petition for your spouse today, in three years’ time, they can file for the green card.
The next category is the F-2B, which is unmarried children over 21 of a green card holder. Then, there is the F-3, which is the married sons and daughters of a US citizen. The last category is the F-4 for siblings. If you are a US citizen, you can apply for your brothers and sisters and, if they’re married, their families as well. In the immigration process, the age of 21 is critical. Once someone passes the age of 21, they can no longer get a benefit through their parents.
Currently, President Trump wants to move away from the family category in the United States Immigration system. There is conversation of eliminating the parent category. If anyone is thinking about sponsoring their parents, they should act quickly to get the process going.
Who Is Considered Family On A Family Based Green Card?
Family is usually either parents, children, or siblings. As children, once you’re married, it changes. If you’re under 21 but married, you lose that minor child category. Then, we have the issue of step children. If you are married and the child is under the age of 18 at the time of marriage, it becomes the child of the US citizen. In the immigrant category, one of the downsides is that you can only apply for that immigrant. If want to petition for your father and your stepmother, you cannot. You can apply for your father but you cannot file for your stepmother. In other words, if you want to file for both of your parents, there are two separate filings. You’d have to do one for your father and one for your mother.
The requirements are also slightly different. When you’re petitioning for your mother, all you really need is your birth certificate. When you petition for your father, you need a birth certificate and you also have to prove that your father is your father by a DNA test or with proof that your parents were married at the time of your birth. If you were adopted, that would terminate the biological relationships and you could not sponsor your biological parents.
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