There are many ways for a foreign national to apply for permanent residence here in the U.S., whether through a job offer, through aslyee status, or refugee status. In this article, the discussions will focus on family-based green cards, as it is one of our firm's primary practice areas.
First thing first, you need to have a qualifying family relationship before you can apply for permanent residence. The establishment of this qualifying family relationship is through the filing of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
A U.S. citizen may petition for a spouse, an unmarried child under 21 years of age, or a parent (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older). These are known as "immediate relatives."
A U.S. citizen may petition for an unmarried son/daughter over 21 years of age, a married son/daughter (any age), or a sibling. This family preference category also allows a lawful permanent resident to petition for a spouse, an unmarried child under 21 years of age, or an unmarried son/daughter 21 years of age or older.
Depending on the qualifying family relationship, the foreign national's visa/immigration status, your foreign national family member can apply for the green card through (1) adjustment of status or (2) consular processing.
ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS
Adjustment of status involves a process where an applicant applies for lawful permanent residence while being in the U.S.
Consular processing involves a process where an applicant applies for an immigrant visa (green card) through a U.S. embassy or consulate in a foreign country.