Massachusetts Immigration Lawyers Blog

Boston, Massachusetts, Immigration Law Blog

Immigration law in the United States allows for both citizens and legal permanent residents to petition for entry on behalf of their relatives who live in other countries. While it is generally easier for immediate relatives of US citizens to obtain visas, spouses and unmarried children of green card holders are also eligible. Different rules apply depending upon the petitioner's status and the status of the person wishing to gain entry, and it is important to understand these differences before filing.

Immediate relative petitions

United States citizens can petition for green cards on behalf of their spouses and their unmarried children who are under the age of 21. If petitioners are older than 21, they may also sponsor their parents. Immediate relative petitions are not subject to the waiting period for available visa numbers. Instead, there is an unlimited number of green cards in this category. It is important to note that an immediate relative petition applies only to the person seeking entry, and separate petitions must be filed for that person's spouse or children. Legal permanent residents of the United States cannot file immediate relative petitions.

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