US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Refugees and Asylees may sponsor certain classes of family members to immigrate to the US, if they meet certain requirements.
The US immigration system takes into account whether the foreign relative is an immediate relative, such as a minor unmarried child, a spouse, or a parent, or is a more distant relative, such as a brother or sister, or a child who is married or is over age 21, and it also takes into account whether the sponsor is a US citizen, an LPR, or a refugee. These factors determine if your foreign relative must wait to immigrate or if he may immigrate immediately once the petition is approved.
In all of the categories described below there are many stringent requirements which must be precisely met to guarantee a successful outcome.
US citizens may bring a fiancé or fiancée to the US to marry. There is no wait for the visa interview, and the fiancé or fiancée may come to the US as soon she gets her visa. After the couple has married, the foreign national may apply for a green card through the Adjustment of Status process.
Visas for Spouses
US citizens may immigrate their foreign spouse and minor unmarried children. Like the fiancee situation, there is no wait for the visa interview, and the spouse and minor unmarried children may come to the US as soon they get their visa. Spouses of lawful permanent residents must wait for the priority date to become current before the visa interview will be set.
Green Card for Parents of Adult US Citizens
If you are a US citizen and over age 21, you may immigrate your parent, and like the fiancee or foreign spouse situation, there is no wait for the visa interview, and your parents may come to the US as soon they get their visa.
Green Card Through Adjustment of Status
A foreign national who has lawfully entered the US and is an immediate relative of a US citizen may apply for a green card through adjustment of status. In some cases the foreign national may adjust status on the basis of an approved labor certification filed by a US employer.
Same Sex Couples
US Immigration Law allows same sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples, but issues at the local level in some states remain, despite recent US Supreme Court decisions.