Adjustment of Status Through Family

Human Rights First

U.S. immigration allows for the reunification of families, no matter where the intending immigrant is from.

It may be helpful to consult with an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility and to assist you with this complicated process.

U.S. citizens, Green Card holders, and lawful permanent residents of the United States can petition to bring certain family members to the U.S.

I am a U.S. citizen

Citizens can petition for reunification with members of their families. Below are links to U.S. Immigration forms necessary to bring specific family members into the United States.

Spouse (immediate relative)

Parents (immediate relative)

Unmarried children under the age of 21 (immediate relative)

Married and unmarried children over the age of 21


Fiancé and their children under the age of 21

I am a Green Card holder

Green Card holders, or Lawful permanent residents, can petition for:


Unmarried children of any age

The first step to petition for a qualifying family member is to file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with USCIS.

The application requires documentation, including proof of the family relationship — like birth certificates, marriage certificates, photos, and other evidence of a qualifying family relationship.

Yes. If this is the case, file Form I-130 at the same time as the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens

Spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizens are “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens and there are unlimited numbers of immigrant visas available for these family members. They are eligible to apply for permanent residence as soon as the I-130 is approved.

More information on getting a Green Card for immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens is found here.

For other applicants

There are limits for all other people seeking permanent residence in the United States.

Children over the age of 21 and siblings of U.S. citizens, and spouses and married children of lawful permanent residents must wait for a visa number to become available before they can apply for permanent residence after their I-130 is approved, which can take many years.

For information on visa availability and priority dates for these relatives, see the Visa Bulletin.

More information on petitioning for a Green Card for family members of immigrants is here.

Generally, USCIS requests an interview for family-based petitions based on marriage to ensure that applicants did not get married simply for a green card.

In other cases, USCIS may interview applicants or issue a decision without an interview.