The first step in obtaining a family based visa or green card is for the petitioner (who is your relative who is a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident/Green card holder) to file a I-130 petition with the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (US CIS).
The petition must establish two things:
- The petitioner’s status as a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident
- That the petitioner and beneficiary (you) have a “Qualifying Family Relationship”
The second step is for you (the beneficiary) to file an application to immigrate. This can be done either through consular processing or adjustment of status.
HOWEVER. 3 facts must be established at step two:
- A visa is currently available
- The visa petition is still valid (petitioner-beneficiary relationship still exists and petitioner still has required immigration status)
- Beneficiary is not inadmissible, or if inadmissible there is a waiver of the inadmissibly ground