Green Card Process
Becoming a United States Citizen begins with first acquiring Legal Permanent Status aka Green Card status. To do this you must be eligible through either work or a family based petition. In this article I will explain eligibility and the timeline in applying for a green card.
For this article let’s pretend you are a current green card holder and you are trying to bring your daughter from your home country.
The first step is to figure out which category your daughter fits in. You are currently a Permanent Resident and depending if your daughter is over 21 or under 21 will affect her wait time. Let say she is currently under 21 and unmarried then she will fall under F2A category. If she is over 21 or married she will be F2B. Also if you ever decide to become a US citizen then she will become F1.
Green Card – FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
- (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
- (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Once you know which category you are you just need to look at the Visa bulletin. This is a bulletin that is updated every month with expected wait times therefore you should check the current visa bulletin to get accurate wait times. Unless you are one of those specific countries listed you can just look at the dates under “All chargeability area”.
Find the category your daughter would fit it and look at the date. That is the date they are currently honoring/awarding green cards to. So for example, if your daughter is under 21 and unmarried, she is F2A. Which means had you applied for her on October 22, 2015 then it is ready to be issued. Unfortunately if you do decide to become a citizen she would jump to F1 and the wait would be much longer.
Green Card Monthly Bulletin (October 2017)