FAMILY BASED GREEN CARD APPLICATIONS: Eligible Family Members and Estimated Waiting Period


Do American citizens and permanent residents become the sponsor for their spouses, children, orphans, and parents to take the green card? 

How long does it take to sponsor a family member? 

All green card applications are not treated the same way. Family preference category (F)  must wait for a long period because they have a limited number of immigrant visas (green card) available every year. On the other hand, “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens (IR) have an unlimited supply so there is not a line and the waiting period. 



Family Members

Immigration Benefit

Annual Quota

Estimated Waiting Period

American Citizen



No numerical limit

6-12 months

American Citizen

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