One of the most common ways to get a Green Card is sponsorship through family and employment. Every American citizen or permanent resident can work as a sponsor for his/her family members who are petitioning for Green Cards or who are seeking to adjust their status with respect to their immigration to the United States.
The category that includes spouses, unmarried children that are under the age of 21, and also parents is called the “Immediate relatives” of US citizens. These people belonging in one of the three cases mentioned, have visa numbers immediately available after they apply for a Green Card. All unmarried children that are over 21, married children of any age, and also siblings of US citizens are classified under the family preference category. They, unfortunately, cannot have a visa number immediately available when petitioning. They have to wait until their priority date.
All children of US citizens, who are under 21 years old and also unmarried, are considered to be Immediate Relatives. They can have a visa number immediately available! In order to officially establish the family relationship, the sponsor US citizen should file Form I-130. After the approval, a visa number becomes available for the relative. After that, the child should petition for a status adjustment to permanent resident if he/she is already living in the United States. In cases when the child is living outside the United States, he/she will have to apply for an immigration visa.
All unmarried children of the US citizens that are over the age of 21, automatically fall under the first preference category. Married sons and daughters of the US citizens (at any age), belong to the third preference category.
On the other hand, unmarried children of US permanent residents (at any age) of permanent residents belong to the second preference category. The US sponsor should file Form I-130 and establish the familial relationship. Then, after approval, children will have to wait for visa numbers to become available.
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