The I-130 Visa petition is used by U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to file for qualifying family members. The I-130 is a mechanism by which a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident proves or confirms to the Department of Homeland Security an acknowledged relationship to a relative. That is, there are only certain recognized or acknowledged relationships that the U.S. government will allow to be the foundation of a green card application. For a U.S. citizen, a U.S. citizen can apply for and confer the relationship to. Having an approved I-130 is not a guarantee that the person you apply for is going to get a green card. That is a separate application.
A U.S. citizen can file an I-130 petition on behalf of a parent, spouse, or an unmarried child under the age of 21. Those three relationships are called “immediate relative,” and in terms of immediacy, there is no waiting list. There is no preference category defined by the government. If you can prove that you have a parent, a spouse, or an unmarried child under 21, and you are a U.S. citizen, that person is immediately eligible to apply for a green card. U.S. citizens can also apply for unmarried children, 21 years or older, married children 21 years or older, and for brothers and sisters.
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