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Obtaining U.S. Permanent Residence for Immediate Relatives from Abroad

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

If a U.S. citizen wants an immediate relative from abroad to come and live in the U.S., that relative (whether a parent, spouse, or child who is under 21), can immigrate to the U.S. using an "Immigrant Visa" or by "Adjusting Status". However, the latter process requires the applicant to remain inside the U.S. while the application is being processed, which takes 18 months nowadays. On the plus side though, the applicant can work during that time, whereas persons applying for Immigrant Visas do not automatically get to work in the U.S. while awaiting the green light to move to U.S.A. The Immigrant Visa is often the more preferential route since: (a) international travel is allowed while the application is pending, and (b) if the applicant happens to be the U.S. citizen's spouse, the consular interview is far less nerve-racking than the Adjustment of Status interview with Homeland Security. The process is a bit more complicated when it involves a U.S. Permanent Resident seeking to bring an immediate relative from abroad.


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

An image of a man with his two young children in a backyard

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