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Helping You Make Your American Dream Come True

Helping You Make Your American Dream Come True

Applying for green cards for family members

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2023

Immigrants in New Jersey, who have become U.S. citizens or are currently lawful permanent residents, may request green cards for their close relatives. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a process for bringing spouses, children and sometimes siblings into the country. USCIS has established preferences for different classes of family members.

Family preference categories

The agency shows first preference to the unmarried sons or daughters aged 21 or older of U.S. citizens. The spouses and unmarried children under age 21 of lawful permanent residents enjoy secondary preference. Also considered of secondary preference are the unmarried children aged 21 and up of lawful permanent residents.

The married adult children of U.S. citizens come in third in terms of preference. Finally, at the fourth level of preference are the siblings of adult U.S. citizens aged 21 and up.

Immigration forms and documentation

You must prepare a great deal of paperwork for the USCIS to process your green card application. You may have a family member, such as a parent or spouse, who is the principal applicant. The family members applying along with the principal applicant are known as derivative applicants. Everyone needs to complete Form I-485, and the acceptability of the derivative applicants depends on the approval of the principal applicant.

As expected, USCIS must receive proof of your relationship to the principal applicant along with Form I-485. Acceptable documentation includes marriage and birth certificates.

Additionally, you must present a number of other forms that record your arrival to the United States and health records. Your records must indicate that you have maintained a lawful status at all times while in the country. If you have been previously removed from the country, your application must include documentation granting you permission to reapply for a green card.