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Family Based Green Card: Petition for Alien Relative

Family Based Green Card: Petition for Alien Relative

We are a team of experienced immigration lawyers that care about your future.

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What is a family based Green Card?

Family-based Green Cards allow U.S. permanent residents to petition for their immediate relatives to enter the U.S.

The legal definition of “immediate relatives” includes spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. They can benefit from a special immigration priority, as there is no limited availability for family visas.

The family-based Green Card processing time is usually short, and it starts when you file a Petition for Alien Relative. However, only immediate family members are eligible for this request. All other family relationships fit into different Family Preference immigrant visas.

How can IAS help you get your Green Card?

Family based Green Cards are highly requested since they do not have strict criteria. Although there is an unlimited number of available permits, making a mistake can delay your application.

By contacting IAS, only the best immigration advisors will handle your case. Your assigned lawyer will discuss with you your immediate relatives’ eligibility and advise on the best route to follow.

We will also perform a full document check for both you and your family and your Petition for Alien Relative will be completed in full. We can also liaise with the USCIS through the complete application process.

If your relatives do not fit into this visa’s tiers, we can discuss further immigration opportunities.

You can entrust your beloved ones’ petition to our lawyers. To start discussing the perfect strategy to get your Green Card, get in touch today. You can either call us on +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Under the U.S. immigration law, the following relatives meet the definition of “immediate family”:

  • Spouse of U.S. citizens (IR1 Visa category);
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens (IR2 Visa category);
  • Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen (IR3 category);
  • Orphan adopted in the U.S. by a local citizen (IR4 category);
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen (IR5 Visa category).

If you do not fit in any of these categories, you may not be an immediate relative. However, you may still be eligible for another Green card family preference category.

You can sponsor your immediate relative members’ petitions if you are either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

The first step to take is to submit your I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Along with your application form, you must provide adequate proof of your relationship with your family.

In addition, you must prove that you can support your relatives financially, and they do not need to rely on U.S. welfare. The USCIS also needs to review if your family members hold any criminal record or a history of immigration violations.

If your immediate family is already in the U.S. under a different visa, you do not need to file a Petition for Alien Relative. Your family must submit a Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).

The I-130, also known as Petition for Alien Relative, is the form that you need to submit to the USCIS to petition for a family-based Green Card. It is used to establish a relationship between a U.S. lawful permanent resident and his or her alien relatives.

If you wish to sponsor for more than one family member, you must submit a separate I-130 form for each of them. It is also worth mentioning that if you are applying for K visas or Family Preference tiers, you cannot use the I-130 Petition. To bring your foreign partner to the U.S. you should submit a K3 visa application form for spouses or a K1 visa form for fiancé(e)s.

Upon approval of the I-130 Form, your relatives will be summoned for an interview at their local U.S. consulate.


The family based Green Card processing time usually takes from 5 to 12 months after filing your petition.  The waiting time significantly varies based on the type of relationship between you and your relatives.

The immigration department may issue an RFE (Request for Evidence) before approving your petition. You can follow the status of your application online on the USCIS website.

Each family-based Green Card tier is processed individually and at a separate time. While they wait for their response, your relatives can travel to and from the U.S.

However, they cannot apply for other non-immigrant visas. The pending Form I-130 implies their immigrant intent.

The total cost for getting a Green Card through family includes:

  • The filing fee for Form I-130 ($535);
  • Fee for Form I-485, if your family is already in the U.S. (from $750 to $1,140, depending on the visa tier);
  • Immigrant application processing fee, if your family leaves abroad (325$);
  • USCIS immigrant fee ($220);
  • Biometrics fees ($85).

IR petitions are usually processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Your application forms must be free of errors and inconsistencies, or you may delay your application.

If your I-130 Petition is denied, the USCIS will issue a Notice of Action to reject or delay your request. To avoid this undesirable outcome, you must seek the guidance of an expert.

At IAS, we can make your family based Green Card application process less stressful for you and your family.