Attorney at Law

What are Family Sponsored Green Cards?

A family sponsored green card is a type of immigrant visa that allows the applicant to join close relatives in the United States. Spouses, children, parents or siblings are considered close relatives, while grandparents and cousins generally do not qualify. This particular program counts for about two-thirds of the more than 1 million green cards issued each year. 

Key Takeaways

  • A family sponsored green card is an immigrant visa that allows the applicant to join close relatives in the United States.
  • Spouses, children, parents or siblings may be eligible for a family sponsored green card.
  • There are two main categories of family sponsored green cards: immediate relatives and family preference categories.

Immediate Relatives

Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are given the highest priority in the family-sponsored green card system. This category is designed to promote family reunification and includes the closest family members of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives are not subject to any limits. In other words, there is no cap on the number of visas that can be issued in this category each year. The specific types of relationships included in this category are listed below:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Unmarried children (under the age of 21) of U.S. citizens 
  • Parents of U.S. citizens

The application process for immediate relatives is relatively short compared to family preference categories. The exact timeline varies depending on a number of important factors, but the entire process generally takes between several months to a year.

Family Preference Categories

A limited number of family preference visas are set aside each year. As a result, these applications usually involve longer wait times. These types of applications are for:

  • F1: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or older) of U.S. citizens 
  • F2A: Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21)
  • F2B: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years and older)
  • F3: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • F4: Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens 

Some applicants may have to wait several years for their family preference categories application to be approved, while others may have shorter wait times. It is essential to regularly monitor the Visa Bulletin, a monthly publication issued by the United States Department of State (DOS)  that provides important information regarding the availability of immigrant visa numbers. Further, since the exact time frame can depend on your specific circumstances, it is highly advised to consult with a specialized immigration attorney.

Bottom Line

In summary, family sponsored green cards play a significant role in reuniting immigrants with their loved ones. For comprehensive information and expert assistance with Family Sponsored Green Cards, book a consult with an Attorney At Law immigration lawyer. Our attorneys will help ensure a smooth and successful journey towards family reunification in the United States.

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