Obtaining a Green Card

As a citizen of the United States, you may help a relative become a lawful permanent resident of the United States by obtaining what is often referred to as a “Green Card.” To do so, you need to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative(s) when they come to the United States.

You begin the process by filing a Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes the family relationship that exists between you and your relative.

A U.S. citizen can file a petition for the following relatives:

Husband or wife;
Children, married or unmarried.

A U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years or older may also petition for the following relatives:

Parents;
Brothers or sisters. When you submit your petition, you are required to provide evidence to prove your relationship to the person for whom you are filing.

As a permanent resident of the United States, you may help a relative become a lawful permanent resident based on your status. To do so, you will need to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative(s) when they come to the United States.

A permanent resident of the United States can file a petition for the following relatives:

Husband or wife; and
Unmarried child(ren), regardless of age.

Note: Only U.S. citizens may petition for married children.
What does the petition do for my relative? Filing a relative petition and proving a qualifying relationship gives your relative a place in line for a visa number among others waiting to immigrate based on that same kind of relationship from the same country or region. When your relative reaches the head of the line, he or she may be eligible to immigrate.