The close relatives of a United States citizen can apply for legal status in the U.S. based on this relationship. To seek an immediate family Green Card, the person must be the spouse, child under 21 or parent of a U.S. citizen.

Learn more about the process of applying for a Green Card as a spouse or family member.

Determining eligibility

If you are currently in the U.S., you must have passed through customs upon entry to apply for a Green Card. Grounds for inadmissibility, such as having an infectious disease or certain criminal convictions, will disqualify you from entry. If you are not in the U.S., you can apply for immigration and citizenship through the U.S. consulate in your nation.

Filing the immigrant petition

Your family member must submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This requires information about both you and your family member, as well as your relationship, along with a $535 filing fee. Either at the same time when your family member submits this form or after it is in process, you must submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The filing fee for this form ranges from $750 to $1,225, depending on age and other factors.

Gathering documentation

Along with your petition, you must submit the following:

  • Two passport-style photographs
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A copy of the page of your passport with a non-immigrant visa, admission stamp or parole stamp
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • Other requested documents that may apply to your situation

While Citizenship and Immigration Services processes your Green Card application, update the agency on any address changes. You can also check the USCIS website for processing times that provide more information on how long you can expect your request to take.