Often, people look for ways to bring loved ones and relatives into the country by sponsoring their immigration. However, green cards—the ideal goal for many prospective immigrants do have some limitations that many people may not consider.
Citizens have the right to sponsor their parents, their spouses, and their children under the age of 21 or over the age of 21. There are always different visa categories, but there are an unlimited number of green cards available for the parents of U.S. citizens, the spouses of U.S. citizens, and the underage children of U.S. citizens. There are caps on the number of green cards that are available for brothers and sisters.
Congress has capped those numbers of green cards, so there is a long wait for those. Once a year I file a brother or sister case. It is rare, because nobody knows if they are going to be around 13 years from now. They do not know if I am going to be around 13 years from now. They do not know if their brother is going to be around 13 years from now. It is disheartening for people, so we do not do it that often. When we do, they are given a priority date and that is their place in line. Then, they are waiting until their priority date becomes apparent before they can apply for the green card.
Green card holders cannot vote and cannot serve on a jury. They can sponsor their spouses or their children, but that is it. They can travel into the United States for as long as they want, but they can have their status revoked if they commit a crime or they stay outside of the United States for too long. There are lots of different ways people can lose their green card, so they are encouraged to apply for citizenship. Once they are a citizen, unless they committed a fraud during the naturalization process, no one can take away their citizenship. However, President Trump and the head of USCIS, Frank Cisna, have created a squad to go through all the old immigration cases to figure out if there was any fraud so they can de-naturalize as many people as possible.
Many people assume that with a green card, the possibilities are endless. While green cards are coveted, they are not the same as citizenship. Fortunately, attorneys with years of experience handling immigration cases could help you or a loved one either obtain a green card or help you work toward naturalization.