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Green Cards For Relatives of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents

Tanner Law Offices, LLC, is located in Camp Hill near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and provides immigration services for individuals, families and employers throughout Central Pennsylvania. If you need the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer, call us at 717-836-0471 to schedule a consultation.

A limited number of visas are allocated each year to four preference categories of qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. These applicants can only be sponsored once the Department of State’s monthly Visa Bulletin shows that the relevant preference category is “current” or that the relative’s “priority date” is current.

The following relationships fall into the preference categories for green cards for non immediate family members:

  1. First priority category: Unmarried sons and daughters (over the age of 21) of U.S. citizens
  2. Second priority:
    • (A): Spouses and children (under the age of 21) of lawful permanent residents
    • (B): Unmarried sons and daughters (over the age of 21) of lawful permanent residents
  3. Third: Married sons and daughters (over the age of 21) of U.S. citizens
  4. Fourth: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens

In order to qualify, the applicant must be sponsored by a relative who must also meet certain conditions of financial support.

What is the Green Card Lottery/Diversity Visa?
Because of the limited number of green cards made available every year, the USCIS holds a “diversity visa” lottery from the pool of eligible applicants. Eligibility for the lottery depends upon meeting minimum required education levels, meeting health requirements and having no disqualifying criminal record. As the name implies, the lottery is designed to encourage diversity among legal immigrants from nationalities around the world. Entry into the lottery is restricted to applicants from countries that have not had a net migration to the U.S. exceeding 50,000 at any time during the previous five years.

If your relative is not an immediate relative and does not fall into one of the preference categories, hire an attorney with experience and knowledge in this critical area of the law. Call at 717-836-0471 or send an email to arrange a consultation and case evaluation.