Sample Letter Telling U.S. NVC That You’re Now a Citizen, So Your Family Are Now Immediate Relatives

If you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder), and you have petitioned (filed a Form I-130) for your non-U.S. spouse or children to receive permanent resident status in the U.S. (an immigrant visa or green card), they would have been placed in category F2A of the visa preference system. As you are likely aware, people in category F2A face a long wait for a visa to become available to them, due to annual limits on the number allotted in this category.

Green Card Qualification

A green card identifies its holder as a U.S. permanent resident, with rights to enter, exit, work, and live in the United States for their entire life—and to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. But before you think about applying for U.S. permanent residence, make sure you’re eligible under one of the following categories.


When Can I Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

If you are a U.S. permanent or conditional resident — that is, someone with a green card — the basic rule is that you cannot apply for U.S. citizenship (or apply to naturalize) until you have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. That means exactly five years, to the day. For example, if you were approved for permanent residence on April 17, 2011, you would be eligible for citizenship on April 17, 2016. Check your so-called green card (permanent resident card) for the exact date on which you became a permanent resident.