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Who is an "Immediate Relative" under Immigration Law?

Who is an Immediate Relative under Immigration Law?

The Immigrationa and Nationality Act defines an immediate relative as a:

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • Unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen
  • An orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen,
  • An orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old.

Do Lawful Permament Residents Have "Immediate Relatives"?

A lawful permanent resident, also known as a green card holder, does not have any immediate relatives until he or she becomes a United States citizen through naturalization.

What are the benefits of being an "Immediate Relative"?

USCIS, per the laws and regulations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, treat immediate relatives very differently than other relatives. For example, the spouse of a US citizen who entered the United States with inspection but is out of status, is eligible for adjustment of status. A parent of a US citizen who is at least 21 years or older will have their unauthorized work forgiven. In addition, immediate relatives have a visa immediately available, which means there are no long delays to getting a green card.

Costa Mesa Immigration Lawyer

In any immigration scenario, it is important to seek skilled and experienced advice from an immigration lawyer. The smallest change in fact will make a difference in your case. Before spending money on filing fees, make sure you are taking the correct steps. Contact a Costa Mesa immigration lawyer today.


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