We provide updated immigration Visa bulletin and Processing time information...Read More
We are committed to educating those interested in learning U.S immigration laws ...Read More
We provide the professional
and comprehensive on-line immigration law library...
We are dedicated to provide
all aspects of US immigration services and counseling...
General Information on Following-to-Join
What is Following-to-Join?
Aliens who married or had children before the date of obtaining permanent residency can possibly confer “following-to-join” benefits to their family members.
Essentially, through this process, spouses and children will be able to receive green cards quickly. “Following-to join” is not family based immigration, but is similar to a child/spouse receiving derivative benefits based on a primary LPR’s immigration petition.
The requirements below must be met in order for a spouse or child to qualify under “following-to-join”:
First, the legal permanent resident must have adjusted status or obtained an immigrant visa through a preference category (family or employment based) or diversity lottery. Some examples include but are not limited to NIW, EB-1, etc. In addition, a LPR’s visa number must also be current in order for a family member to receive “following-to-join”.
Second, the petitioner married/had children before becoming a permanent resident and the relationship between the permanent resident and spouse/child is intact at the time of filing. Children of LPRs must be unmarried and under the age of 21. Furthermore, the child/step-child must be from an existing marriage before the LPR obtained permanent residency.
A spouse or child of a permanent resident cannot receive “following-to-join” benefits if the permanent resident got married and/or had children on the date of or after obtaining permanent residency. In this instance, the legal permanent resident would have to file a separate I-130 petition for his/her family members.
What does a LPR need to do if his/her family members qualify?
“Following-to-join” is convenient because it allows primary beneficiaries to do away with filing a separate I-130 for their spouse or child, greatly expediting the green card approval process. Furthermore, spouses and children of LPRs do not have to wait for a visa number to become available. Where a LPR’s spouse or child currently resides affects what procedures he/she needs to follow.
Spouse or child already in the United States
If your spouse and/or child are already in the United States, they may apply for adjustment of status (I-485) based on “following-to-join”.
If your spouse or child is outside of the United States
In this instance, LPRs need to inform a U.S. consulate of their lawful permanent residency status in order for their family members to apply for an immigrant visa.
A legal permanent resident who has family members living abroad can start the “following-to-join” process by submitting the following documents to the same USCIS office that took the most recent action on his/her case:
Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nationwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.
At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM, and I-485 cases. In the past fourteen years, we have successfully helped thousands of clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free evaluation.
Zhang & Associates, PC.
Silicon Valley ∙ New York ∙ Los Angeles ∙ Chicago ∙ Houston ∙ Austin