Family Petitions (I-130). A citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States may file a petition for Alien Relative and establish the existence of a relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.
Family based immigrant visas. After a family petition have been approved. The immigrant abroad must apply for a visa before the US consul located in the city where the immigrant resides. Upon approval of the immigrant visa. The person may travel to the United States. Upon admission, the person is considered a permanent resident. These visas are subject to numeral limitation and preference categories. Thus, depending upon the category of the Immigrant will depends the waiting time for the person to be able to apply for an immigrant visa.