Receiving news that you have been approved for a Green Card as an employment-based applicant is an exciting moment and undoubtedly brings a feeling of relief.
However, as you consider the new possibilities that will open by having a Green Card, you might be wondering what this means for your family.
Does it include your spouse and children? What about your parents or siblings? In this article, we will explore what impact an employment-based Green Card may have on your family members.
How do you receive a Green Card through a business?
A “green card” is the common term used to describe permanent residency in the United States. Foreign nationals can receive permanent residency in the United States for business purposes as an employee (“alien worker”) or an entrepreneur (investor) through employment-based immigrant visas.
To receive a Green Card as an employee of a business in the U.S., you must be sponsored by your employer. Your employer must file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
It is important to note that not all alien worker visas give you permanent residency. There are many non-immigrant alien worker visas, which will not give you a Green Card.
To qualify for an employment-based Green Card, you must fall into one of three priority categories. These categories include:
- Professionals with extraordinary ability in science, art, business, athletics, or education
- Managers and executives who meet certain criteria
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Professionals who hold an advanced degree with exceptional abilities that will substantially benefit the economy, cultural/educational interests, or welfare of the United States
- Professionals for jobs that serve a national interest (National Interest Waiver)
- Skilled workers in jobs for which qualified U.S. workers are not available
- Unskilled workers in jobs for which qualified U.S. workers are not available
- Professionals with a baccalaureate degree
Many of these categories have additional specific requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for a Green Card, including submitting additional evidence. After your application is submitted, you may be required to attend an interview or provide biometrics like fingerprints.
You may also qualify for an employment-based Green Card as an investor in a for-profit U.S. business. EB-5 visas are available to foreign nationals who invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000, depending on the project, in an “at risk” U.S. business.
Will your spouse and children be included?
While your spouse and children are not automatically included in your approved petition, they are eligible to apply for a Green Card as a derivative beneficiary with the same employment-based immigrant visa category and priority date as you.
To qualify as a derivative spouse, you and your spouse must be legally married. Same-sex marriages are treated the same as opposite-sex marriage.
Dependent children must be unmarried and under the age of 21. Each individual must complete a separate application. Your I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, should include information about your spouse and dependent children.
How do my spouse and children file for a green card?
The process of applying for a Green Card for your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 as derivative beneficiaries of an employment-based Green Card differs depending on whether your spouse and dependent children are currently abroad or in the United States.
If your family members are currently abroad, they will need to apply as a derivative beneficiary of your employment-based visa through consular processing in a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
If your spouse or dependent child is already in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, they will file an I-485 Adjustment of Status application, once the priority date becomes current. As a derivative beneficiary, you are eligible to file concurrently if an immigrant visa is immediately available.
Does it include your parents or siblings?
Parents, siblings, and other relatives are not eligible for permanent residency based on your employment-based Green Card. Only U.S. citizens can petition for their parents, brothers, and sisters.
Once you naturalize and become a U.S. citizen, you may then file an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your parent or sibling.
Contact Orbit Law
If you have recently received or expect to receive an employment-based Green Card and have questions about petitioning for other family members, contact the experienced immigration lawyers at Orbit Law. We will help you to navigate the requirements and process to obtain permanent residency for your family members. Call us today at (206) 623-3352.
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