New Jersey Family Based Immigration
It may be possible for you to obtain a green card, signifying legal permanent residence through a qualifying family member, your U.S. based employer, or even through refugee or asylum status, or other situations such as a Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) petition.
The body of law that governs the process through which you may obtain a green card through your family (parent, adult child, spouse, brother or sister) is contained within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA states that in order for you to obtain a green card you must have already have had an approved immigrant petition filed for you.
Additionally, there must be an immigrant visa immediately available to you. Meaning that you are not subject to any priority date pending. Obviously, you must be deemed admissible to the United States. This usually involves having no past immigration violations or criminal history. There are also exclusions for drug addicts, the unhealthy, and so on.
People who seek to become immigrants (permanent residents) to the U.S. through a qualifying family member, an employer, or another special category will, for the most part, be classified in categories based on what is known as the preference system. Exceptions exist for immediate relatives and some aliens that have extraordinary abilities. However, Congress has mandated that only a set number of visas can be used each year for most other categories of immigrations.
As stated, there are certain relatives of U.S. citizens, called immediate relatives, that do not have to wait for a visa number to become available. There an unlimited number of visas that can be to those people in a given year. Immediate relatives include:
- Parents of a U.S. citizen
- Spouses of a U.S. citizen
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen