Aside from green cards issued for immediate relatives, the United States grants no more than 480,000 family-based resident cards every year. If you want to be included in that number, you should be aware of some of the requirements pertaining to the application process.

 family green card

The best way to determine whether or not your relationship to a U.S. citizen qualifies you for a green card is to speak with your local immigration attorney. The laws that govern immigration into the United States change often, and, if you want your facts to be up-to-date, you should consult an attorney who specializes in immigration law.

At the O’Brien Law Group, we practice exclusively in immigration law, so you can rely on our knowledge of the field. If you hope to apply for a green card in Louisville, call us at 502-400-7890.

The U.S. Government Will Handle Your Application Based On Its Family-Preference Category

If you are not the immediate relative (spouse, minor child or parent) of a U.S. citizen, then the government will assign your application to one of four preference categories. The government reserves the first preference category for unmarried adult children of citizens.

Immediate relatives of green card holders qualify for the second category. If you are married and have one U.S. citizen parent, they’ll assign you to the third preference category, and if you are the sibling of a citizen, you’ll fall into the fourth category.

The amount of time that you’ll spend waiting for a response on your application depends on your preference category, and the government approves first-category applications faster than fourth preference ones. Lower-category applications may remain in limbo for years, or even decades. If you don’t have the time to wait, you can speak to an immigration attorney about other options for obtaining a green card.

Permanent Resident Card Holders Qualify For Certain Government Programs

NY Daily News reports that permanent resident status doesn’t necessarily entitle you to certain government programs. For example, although most green card holders can take advantage of Obamacare as soon as they receive their cards, they will not qualify for Medicare until they’ve worked in the country for 10 years.

Similarly, most immigrants do not qualify for Medicaid until they’ve lived in the United States for more than five years.

Not Everyone Qualifies For A Family-Based Green Card

You may have noticed that extended family members do not fall into any of the preference categories. This is because aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins do not qualify for family-based green cards. Even if you are the aunt of US citizens, and you raised them as if they were your own, you will only quality for a permanent resident card.

Fortunately, there are various ways you can obtain a permanent resident card, so if you do not qualify for a green card, or if your application was denied, feel free to call us. One of our attorneys will help you determine what steps you can take in order to obtain the visa or green card that you’ll need to live in the United States. To schedule a consultation with an attorney from our firm, call us at 502-400-7890.



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