U.S. Permanent Resident Application Overview
(Family Class Immigration Visa, Green Card Application)
A lawful permanent resident (immigrant) is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States of America. A Lawful Permanent Resident is commonly known as a "Green Card Holder".
If you are a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident in the United States, you can apply for a relative(spouse, parents, children, brothers and sisters) to become a lawful permanent resident. You must go through a multi-step process, this process is often referred as "Immigration Visa Application" or "Green Card Application".
First, you must file an immigrant visa petition for your relative, such as your parents, children and siblings. The petition must be approved by the immigration government agency of the United States.
Second, the Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to your relative, the foreign national, even if she or he is already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number becomes immediately available to your relative, it means that she or he can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to her or him.
Third, if your relative is already in the United States, she or he may apply to change her or his status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available. This is one way your relative can apply to secure an immigrant visa number. If your relative is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, your relative must then go to the U.S. consulate servicing the area to complete the processing. This is the other way in which your relative can apply to secure an immigrant visa number.
Next Step: Eligibility to Apply
To find out if you are eligible to sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident, please refer to the section Are You Eligible to Apply. You can determine if you can apply for your family members for immigration.
If you are sure that you can apply for your family member(s) to immigration to the United States, you can choose one of the following application kits directly:
1. Immigration for a Spouse Application Kit
Bring your spouse(wife or husband) to live and work in the United States.
2. Immigration for Parents Application Kit
Bring your parent(s) to live and work in the United States.
3. Immigration for Children Application Kit
Bring your child(ren), son(s) or daughter(s) to live in the United States.