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Editor's Note:
If you want to sponsor a family member to apply for a green card, read on and find out how to start your application in just 5 minutes ...

U.S. Permanent Resident Application Overview

(Immigration Visa, Green Card Application)

A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. A Lawful Permanent Resident is commonly known as a "Green Card Holder". If you are a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident in the United States, you can apply for a relative to become a lawful permanent resident. You must go through a multi-step process, this process is often referred as "Immigration Visa Application" or "Green Card Application":

First, you must file an immigrant visa petition for your relative, and it must be approved by US government agency.

Second, the Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to your relative, the foreign national, even if she or he is already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number becomes immediately available to your relative, it means that she or he can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to her or him.

Third, if your relative is already in the United States, she or he may apply to change her or his status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available. This is one way your relative can apply to secure an immigrant visa number. If your relative is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, your relative must then go to the U.S. consulate servicing the area to complete the processing. This is the other way in which your relative can apply to secure an immigrant visa number.

Next Step:  

To find out if you are eligible to sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident, please refer to the section Are You Eligible.

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