U.S. citizens or permanent residents may desperately want to reunite their families by bringing their loved ones to the United States. The time frame for doing so can be complicated depending on the relationship the potential family-based green card holder has to a family member already in Maryland or another state. While family reunification is valued and important to immigration officials, those seeking a reunion should know what to expect.
Preference is given to those who are the spouses or underage children of U.S. citizens. If there are no unforeseen complications or surprises, those immediate relatives can likely obtain green cards in roughly a year's time. Other relatives can seek green cards as well, but they may face longer waits. Other eligible relatives include the brothers, sisters and parents of citizens or permanent residents.
The process of being eligible for a family-based green card can extend to non-blood relatives under certain circumstances. Stepparents and stepchildren can seek green cards, also. One way to speed up the green card process for anyone is by obtaining a temporary green card while waiting on the issuance of a family-based green card.
The entire family-based green card system and the laws that govern it can be confusing. It is important for family members in Maryland and elsewhere to stay abreast of new laws, changes to laws or any potential stipulations that can impact their situations in any way. Our website has more information about green cards in general and details about the family-based green card system and its guidelines in particular.