Family Immigration

Family Petitions and Permanent Residence (Green Card)

  • Immediate relatives of United States Citizens are eligible to apply for permanent residence without a quota limitation. Immediate relatives are spouses and minor children of U.S. Citizens, parents of U.S. Citizens (the U.S. Citizen must be 21 years of age or older to petition), a stepparent or child of a U.S. Citizen (the child must be under 21 years of age), and the spouse of a deceased U.S. Citizen (filed within 2 years of the U.S. Citizen's death).
  • The remaining family-based preference categories are available only for spouses, children, parents or siblings of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. The categories are as follows: unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. Citizen (over 21 years of age), spouse or unmarried son or daughter of a Lawful Permanent Resident, married son or daughter of a U.S. Citizen, brother or sister of a U.S. Citizen.
  • Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot apply for their relatives.

Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

  • A conditional resident is someone who has obtained status through a good faith marriage. He or she must apply to remove his or her conditional residence. If filing jointly with a spouse, the petition must be filed during the 90 days immediately before the second anniversary of the date conditional residence status was obtained. If a petition is not filed in a timely manner, the conditional resident will lose their status.
  • This petition is also used when a spouse has died, the marriage has ended due to divorce or annulment, battery or extreme cruelty exists in the marriage, or extreme hardship would result from the termination of conditional residence.


  • The K visa allows a U.S. Citizen to petition for his or her fiancé or spouse, the fiancé's unmarried minor child (K-2), and the spouse's unmarried minor child (K-4) to enter the United States. The beneficiary of a K-1 petition is admitted for a 90-day period to marry the petitioning U.S. Citizen. The beneficiary of a K-3 visa allows for the spouse of a U.S. Citizen to enter the United States while waiting for approval of a Petition for Alien Relative with the United States Immigration and Citizenship Service.