Immigration is an important issue for many families and the ability to obtain green cards for family members can also be equally important. Because of this, it is helpful to be familiar with family-based immigration policies and how green cards for family members can be obtained.

Immigration laws allow citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor family members for visas which are also referred to as green cards. In general, because the number of visas available may be limited for specific relative categories, the more remote the family link between the sponsor petitioning on behalf of the family member and the family member themselves, the fewer number of visas are available each year. Some familial relationships receive higher priority than others.

Citizens of the United States can petition for a green card on behalf of their spouse or child that is under 21 years of age; a parent if the sponsor is greater than 21 years old; an unmarried child over the age of 21 and their children; a married child of any age and their child; and siblings, their spouses and children if the sponsor is at least 21 years old. Permanent residents of the United States can sponsor their spouse or child under the age of 21 or any unmarried children over the age of 21 for a visa.

The priority level decreases as the relationship with the family member becomes more distant and immediate relatives will experience the shortest waiting period. Additionally, sponsorships from citizens will receive priority above those petitions sponsored by permanent residents. To help with a visa request, it is beneficial to be familiar with the process so families can obtain the visas they need.