Green Card for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) based on your family relationship if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
You are an immediate relative if you are:
- The spouse of a U.S. citizen;
- The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or
- The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).
- This page provides specific information for immediate relatives in the United States who want to apply for lawful permanent resident status while in the United States.
To qualify for an green card for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa if you are the beneficiary of:
- You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- You were inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States;
- You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
- You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa;
- An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485 and at the time USCIS makes a final decision on your application;
- Note: A visa is always available for immediate relatives.
- The relationship to the family member who filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you still exists;
- None of the applicable bars to adjustment apply to you;
- You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and
- You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.
- An approved Form I-130 on your behalf;
- A pending Form I-130 (that is ultimately approved); or
- A Form I-130 (that is ultimately approved) filed together with your Form I-485.
How to Apply for an Green Card for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
If you meet the requirements for a green card, here are the steps you need to complete for approval:
- If you are currently in the United States and you meet certain other requirements, you may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to apply for a Green Card without leaving the country. This is called “adjustment of status.”
- As an immediate relative, you may file your Form I-485 together (“concurrently”) with the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative filed on your behalf, while the Form I-130 is pending, or after the Form I-130 is approved (and remains valid). For more information, see our pages on Concurrent Filing and the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
- Immigrant visas for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are unlimited, so the visas are always available.
A green card for immediate relatives comes with certain benefits, including:
- You can work legally in the United States,
- You can freely travel in the United States.