So in part one, I explained how you can obtain a green card through a US citizen. This post will talk about how to get a green card through another green card holder/legal permanent resident.
A green card holder can petition for only certain family members. They can petition for a spouse or an unmarried child. The child may be over 21, they just cannot be married! If the child marries and divorces, the green card holder could petition for the child. The main thing to remember is the child must NOT be married!
A green card holder is much limited in who they can petition a green card for. If a green card holder wanted to bring parents or siblings over to the US, they must wait an appropriate amount of time, then naturalize and become US citizens. Once they become citizens they can apply for their parents, siblings, and married children.
Another issue with a green card holder petitioning for a spouse or child is that there is a wait time, whereas US citizens who petition for spouses do NOT have a wait time and the visa is immediately available. For spouses and children of green card holders and other familial categories of US citizens, there are only a certain amount of visas granted every year. So every month the government puts out a bulletin of how long the wait time is. Depending on the category the family member is in it normally takes years, but if you are from India, Mexico, or the Philippines where the backlog of visas is higher than other countries, you will wait MANY years.
If a green card holder petitions for their spouse and it is approved, but then the green card holder becomes a US citizen, the spouse will not longer have to wait for a visa, because now he or she is a spouse of a citizen and those visas are available immediately.
Green card holders can only petition for spouses and unmarried children, but there will be a wait time. If possible, it's always better to naturalize because there are more options available!
If you have any questions, please call our office at (508) 438-1198.
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.