This is the first step to a two-step process for obtaining a green card for your family. You fill all the forms and collect the evidence to prove your relationship and submit these to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. You also have to pay the government fee. The US Immigration Service checks all your documents to make sure that you are related to the person you are sponsoring.
Most often clients ask us how long it will take to bring their family to the US. And as attorneys, we always say – it depends. It depends on how close your relationship is to your family, and what your status is in the US. It is always easier – and much faster - for US Citizens than green card holders to bring their family members into the US.
Below are the main groups of individuals who can file for their family’s green cards:
Green Card holders can file for their
Green card holders cannot sponsor their parents.
If you are a US Citizen who wants to file for your husband/wife, minor children or parents you are in the fastest process. This is because spouses, children and parents are considered immediate relatives and they get preferential treatment. There are no yearly limits on how many green cards the government will issue in this category.
If your relative is already in the US, you can file for their adjustment application (step two) when you file for the I-130 petition (step one). The Immigration Service will process both petitions together, saving many long months in the process.
If you are a US Citizen, you can also sponsor your adult children, brothers and sisters.
If you are a green card holder, you can sponsor your spouses and children.
Because the government does not consider that grown up children and brothers/sisters are as close to you as your husband/wife, parents or your young children, these categories has very low preference. This means that it take many years – sometimes over a decade, to get a green card.
Every year there is a limit for how many green cards are approved in these categories. There are also limits on how many green cards are issued to relatives from different countries every year. Because so many people from India, China, Mexico and Philippines file every year, the queue for relatives in these categories is always many many years behind for these countries.
If you are a US citizen filing for your immediate relatives, the case is processed right away. For everyone else, there is a delay. If you want to check when you can file Step II for your case, you can always go to the Department of State’s website.
The DoS publishes a Visa Bulletin each month where they list the cut-off date of the petition they are processing in every category. Your priority date is the date you filed the 130. You can find this on the receipt notice you get from the USCIS when you file the I-130.
If you had filed the I-130 before the cut-off date, you can file for adjustment or consular processing (step II). If the cut-off date on the Visa Bulletin is before your priority date, you have to wait.
If you filed a I-130 for your wife on March 1, your priority date is March 1.
If you are a US citizen, you can file for her adjustment / consular process right away. You never need to check the Visa Bulletin, because wife of a US citizen is an immediate relative. No quota or queue applies to your case.
If you are a green card holder, you have to check the date on the Visa Bulletin (cut-off date).
As attorneys we help our US citizens and green card holder clients in bringing your family members to the United States. We help you collect all the documents, complete all the forms and answer any questions the Immigration Service may have. We also help you plan the timeline so you know when your family member can be in the US with you. When we talk with you, we are always thinking of how to make the filing easier, faster, and cheaper for you. Our attorneys look at all your documents and suggest options that might make the process faster for you. We walk you through the do-dont’s after we file so your case goes forward smoothly. And we help you prepare in advance so you don’t lose any time.
We had an excellent experience working with Anu Gupta and the Immigration Desk staff in getting a family member Permanent Residence. They were knowledgeable, patient and extremely responsive to our barrage of questions. The whole experience was very smooth, with all paperwork filed in a timely manner. My family and I are very pleased and would highly recommend this firm.
This team went out its way to help my mom!
Immigration Desk attorneys represented and helped us to file for our mom's green card (family based I-130 and consular processing)....
Attorney Anu's staff was extremely helpful and meticulous when it came to collecting and organizing all the documents. Her paralegals guided us on what documents were required and reviewed all the information before they filed. When USCIS required any documents, the office was very responsive and immediately replied.
Anu made herself available when my mom (who is elderly) was going for the visa interview in Mumbai and even provided an after office telephone number when my mother could call if she needed any help- and this was despite the fact that there is a huge time difference!
I have not seen such a dedicated attorney before!
I will highly recommend Anu when comes to filing for green Card or any immigration related filing.
My wife and I owe a big thank you to Attorney Anu Gupta, thank you for always helping us and always listening to us patiently.
Anu Gupta was highly recommended to us by one of our friends. We can still remember the first call we made to her because she was very friendly, kind, and attentive. Since then, we have been very happy and fortunate to have worked with Anu....
It was very easy for us to effectively and efficiently communicate with Anu and her staff through emails and phone calls.
She was very professional right from the start. She made sure that any filing of paper-work happened quickly and without issues. We did, at one point, have to provide additional evidence in the form of affidavits, but again Anu provided great advice and helped us every step of the way.
The process for applying for the Green Card to receiving my Permanent Residence Card was smooth and quick. She provided great advice during the interview process and was available for us when we needed her. We never had to go for an interview to get our Permanent Residency as Anu responded the RFE and answered all the questions of USCIS effectively.
We are now looking forward to filing the application for citizenship in a few years from Attorney Anu Gupta and her great team.
So, in short, if you are looking for an Attorney who is professional and experienced, who cares and pays close attention to every little detail of your case, who is trustworthy and who has solutions to every problem of Immigration, who know US immigration in and out and finally who is honest, then you should definitely reach out to Attorney Anu Gupta.