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Family-based green cards a common green card route

Under U.S. law, certain relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents can be eligible for a green card if their family member sponsors them.

How common are family-based green cards here in the United States. According to federal data, in recent times, people granted family-based green cards have made up a majority of new green card holders.

The data indicates that around 65 percent of the over 1 million people newly granted permanent resident status in the U.S. in 2015 were individuals who were family sponsored.

Nearly 85 percent of these family-sponsored individuals were relatives of U.S. citizens. The remaining individuals were relatives of permanent residents.

Of the relatives of U.S. citizens who were granted a family-based green card in 2015, most were immediate relatives (spouses, parents or qualifying children). In U.S. immigration law, immediate relatives of citizens are treated differently than other qualifying family members of citizens when it comes to green cards.

As these statistics show, family-based green cards are one of the more common green card routes here in the United States. The options and rules for pursuing a green card for a relative vary based on things such as:

  • One’s own status (mainly whether one is a citizen or permanent resident)
  • How one is related to the relative in question.
  • The circumstances of the relative in question.

Individuals here in California who are wishing to sponsor a relative for a green card can seek out guidance and advice on their particular situation from experienced California immigration lawyers.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber