Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

GillespieShields is committed to providing access to exceptional legal services throughout the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The firm is providing a reduction on all professional fees for new hourly matters through May 1, 2020. Please call our intake team today, 602 870 9700. Learn more

Family First: Empowering Arizona Parents with Comprehensive Green Card Knowledge

In the land of opportunity, where dreams are made and futures are forged, the United States has long been a beacon for those seeking a better life. For countless individuals and families, obtaining a green card has been a crucial step on the path to realizing the American Dream. Arizona, with its diverse population and thriving economy, is no exception. However, navigating the complex web of immigration laws and policies can be daunting, especially for parents seeking a brighter future for their children. 

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of obtaining a green card in Arizona, exploring the family-based immigration system, its benefits, and the resources available to empower Arizona parents with comprehensive green card knowledge.

Family law attorney Mesa & Phoenix Arizona, Mesa & Phoenix AZ Family law attorney, Top Family law attorney, Best Family law attorney, Civil law attorney, Estate planning attorney

The American Dream and the Green Card

The American Dream, a concept deeply embedded in the nation’s history, represents the pursuit of happiness, freedom, and prosperity through hard work and opportunity. While the definition of this dream varies from person to person, a common theme is the chance for a better life and improved prospects for one’s family. For countless immigrants, a green card is the key to unlocking this dream.

What Is a Green Card?

A green card, formally known as a United States Permanent Resident Card, is a legal document that grants its holder the status of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in the United States. This status allows individuals to live and work in the country indefinitely, with almost all the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen, except for voting in federal elections and holding certain government positions.

Green cards are highly sought after for several reasons:

1. Legal Residence: A green card holder has the right to live and work in the United States without the need for a visa or work permit, making it a vital step towards achieving stability and security.

2. Education: LPR status makes it easier for individuals to access higher education and secure scholarships or financial aid, opening doors to better job opportunities.

3. Healthcare: Green card holders are eligible for many of the healthcare benefits that U.S. citizens receive, ensuring access to quality medical care.

4. Family Unity: One of the most significant advantages of a green card is the ability to sponsor certain family members for their own green cards, fostering family unity.

Family-Based Immigration System

One of the primary pathways to obtaining a green card is through family-based immigration, a system that emphasizes keeping families together. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prioritizes family reunification, allowing U.S. citizens and LPRs to sponsor close family members for green cards. This system is especially vital for Arizona’s immigrant families, as they seek to provide a stable environment for their children to thrive.

The family-based immigration system includes two primary categories:

1. Immediate Relatives: These are the closest family members, including spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives have the highest priority and do not face numerical restrictions, making the process relatively faster.

2. Family Preference Categories: These categories include more distant relatives, such as adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as spouses and unmarried children of LPRs. These categories are subject to numerical limitations, which can result in longer waiting times.

The Benefits of Family-Based Immigration

Family-based immigration holds several key benefits, not only for immigrants themselves but for the broader U.S. society:

1. Strengthening Families: Family reunification is central to maintaining strong, stable families. Allowing close family members to join their loved ones in the United States promotes emotional and financial support, contributing to healthier family dynamics.

2. Cultural Diversity: Family-based immigration enriches American society by introducing diverse cultural backgrounds, languages, and traditions, ultimately making the nation more vibrant and inclusive.

3. Economic Contribution: Immigrants who come through family-based channels often integrate more easily into the workforce, as they have family support networks in place. This, in turn, can lead to increased economic productivity and job creation.

4. Community Building: The bonds formed through family-based immigration extend beyond individual families, fostering tight-knit immigrant communities that contribute to local culture and economy.

The Arizona Context

Arizona, with its diverse and growing population, is home to a significant number of immigrants seeking green cards through family-based immigration. The state’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border and its vibrant communities make it a unique and compelling destination for immigrants from various backgrounds.

The Impact of Immigration in Arizona

The impact of immigration on Arizona’s social, economic, and cultural landscape is profound. According to the American Immigration Council, as of 2021:

  • Approximately 13% of Arizona residents are foreign-born, contributing to the state’s cultural diversity.
  • Immigrants in Arizona paid $4.7 billion in federal taxes and $2.4 billion in state and local taxes in 2018.
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs play a significant role in the state’s economy, with 22.8% of self-employed Arizona residents being foreign-born.

These statistics underscore the vital role that immigrants, including those seeking green cards through family-based immigration, play in Arizona’s growth and development.

Challenges Faced by Immigrant Parents in Arizona

While Arizona offers numerous opportunities for immigrants, it also presents unique challenges, particularly for parents navigating the green card process. These challenges include:

1. Navigating the Immigration System: The U.S. immigration system is notoriously complex and subject to frequent changes in policies and regulations. Immigrant parents may struggle to understand the legal requirements and procedures for obtaining a green card.

2. Language Barriers: Many immigrant parents face language barriers that can hinder their ability to access information and resources related to green card applications.

3. Financial Strain: The costs associated with the green card application process, including filing fees, medical exams, and legal assistance, can place a significant financial burden on immigrant families.

4. Legal Assistance: Access to affordable and reliable legal assistance is essential for navigating the complexities of the immigration system. However, finding trustworthy legal representation can be challenging for immigrant parents.

To address these challenges and empower Arizona parents with comprehensive green card knowledge, various resources and organizations are dedicated to providing guidance and support.

Empowering Arizona Parents with Comprehensive Green Card Knowledge

Empowering Arizona parents with comprehensive green card knowledge is essential for ensuring the success and well-being of immigrant families. Various resources and organizations are committed to providing support at every step of the green card application process.

Legal Services and Assistance

1. Immigration Attorneys: Qualified immigration attorneys specialize in helping individuals and families navigate the immigration system. They can provide personalized guidance, assist with paperwork, and represent clients in immigration court if necessary. It is crucial to seek out reputable and experienced immigration attorneys to ensure the best possible outcome.

2. Nonprofit Organizations: Several nonprofit organizations in Arizona offer free or low-cost immigration legal services. These organizations can provide assistance with green card applications, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) renewals, and other immigration-related matters.

Community Centers and Workshops

1. Community Centers: Many community centers in Arizona serve as hubs for immigrant communities. They often offer resources, language classes, and workshops on immigration topics, including green card applications.

2. Legal Workshops: Local organizations and legal aid providers frequently host workshops and informational sessions on immigration processes. These events are valuable opportunities for immigrant parents to learn about green card eligibility, application requirements, and the latest immigration policies.

Government Agencies

1. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS provides official information on green card eligibility, application forms, and processing times through its website. It’s an essential resource for understanding the official requirements and procedures.

2. Local USCIS Offices: Immigrant parents can visit their local USCIS offices for inquiries and assistance with their green card applications. Appointments may be required, so it’s advisable to check the USCIS website for guidance on scheduling appointments and office hours.

Educational Resources

1. Online Resources: The internet offers a wealth of information on green card applications. USCIS’s website provides official forms and guidance. Additionally, several reputable websites and forums offer insights, checklists, and tips on the green card process.

2. Library Resources: Public libraries often have books, pamphlets, and online databases that provide information on immigration and green card applications. Library staff can assist in finding relevant resources.

Community Support

1. Community Organizations: Numerous community-based organizations in Arizona focus on immigrant rights and support. These organizations can connect immigrant parents with resources, advocacy, and a sense of community.

2. Support Groups: Joining support groups or online forums with other immigrant parents can provide valuable emotional and practical support during the green card application journey. Sharing experiences and advice can be reassuring and informative.

Government Programs

1. Public Benefits and Services: LPRs, including those seeking green cards, may be eligible for certain public benefits and services, such as healthcare programs and educational assistance. Immigrant parents should research these programs to understand their eligibility and application processes.

2. Path to Citizenship: Immigrant parents should be aware that holding a green card is typically a stepping stone to U.S. citizenship. USCIS provides information on the naturalization process, which allows green card holders to become citizens after meeting specific criteria.

Common Green Card Application Steps

While the specific requirements and steps for obtaining a green card can vary depending on the immigrant’s family relationship, certain common elements exist within the process. Below are the general steps involved in a family-based green card application:

1. Determine Eligibility

Before proceeding with the application process, immigrant parents must determine their eligibility for a family-based green card. Eligibility primarily depends on the type of familial relationship with the sponsoring U.S. citizen or LPR.

2. Sponsorship

A U.S. citizen or LPR must file a petition on behalf of the immigrant parent. The sponsoring family member serves as the petitioner and is responsible for demonstrating their relationship and financial capability to support the immigrant.

3. Visa Bulletin

Immigrant parents must monitor the Visa Bulletin, a monthly publication by the U.S. Department of State. The Visa Bulletin provides information on visa availability for family preference categories, which determines when the immigrant can apply for a green card.

4. Affidavit of Support

The sponsoring family member must submit an Affidavit of Support, proving their financial ability to provide for the immigrant without relying on public assistance. This document is crucial in demonstrating that the immigrant will not become a public charge.

5. Visa Application

Once a visa becomes available according to the Visa Bulletin, immigrant parents can apply for a green card through consular processing if they are outside the U.S. or through adjustment of status if they are already in the country. This involves submitting the required forms and supporting documents.

6. Medical Examination and Biometrics

As part of the application process, immigrant parents may need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician and provide biometrics (fingerprints, photographs) at a USCIS Application Support Center.

7. Interview

Applicants may be required to attend an interview at a USCIS office or U.S. consulate as part of the green card application process. During the interview, immigration officials assess the validity of the application and the authenticity of the familial relationship.

8. Approval and Entry

Upon approval of the green card application, immigrant parents receive a visa or a green card, depending on their location. If outside the U.S., they must attend a visa interview at a U.S. consulate and then travel to the United States to be admitted as LPRs.

9. Conditional Residence (if applicable)

In some cases, immigrant parents may initially receive a conditional green card, typically valid for two years. They must apply to remove the conditions before the card expires, demonstrating that the marriage (if applicable) is genuine and continuing.

10. Permanent Residence

After successfully completing the required steps, immigrant parents obtain permanent residence in the United States, granting them the rights and benefits associated with LPR status.


In conclusion, this article explores the importance of obtaining a green card in Arizona as a crucial step towards realizing the American Dream. It highlights the benefits of a green card, particularly in the context of family-based immigration, and how it strengthens families, fosters cultural diversity, contributes to the economy, and builds communities. The article also addresses the challenges faced by immigrant parents in Arizona and provides a comprehensive overview of resources and organizations available to empower them with the knowledge and support needed to navigate the green card application process.

The article outlines the common steps involved in a family-based green card application, emphasizes the importance of eligibility determination, and provides answers to frequently asked questions about the process. It concludes by highlighting the enduring nature of the American Dream and how, with the right knowledge and support, immigrant parents in Arizona can continue to pursue their dreams and contribute to the state’s multicultural society.

Dreaming of Reuniting Your Family in the U.S.? An Immigration Law Specialist Can Pave the Way! 

Bringing your loved ones closer isn’t just about bridging miles; it’s about navigating the intricate labyrinths of immigration law, especially when it comes to Family-Based Visas and Green Cards for spouses, children, and parents of US citizens. With federal regulations morphing consistently, the stakes are sky-high both emotionally and financially.

Enter the arena with Gillespie Shields, your dedicated Immigration Law Specialist. We see beyond the paperwork, delving into the unique stories each family unfolds. Our commitment? To craft tailored pathways for each client, ensuring every step of the process is not only clear but also empowering.

Every question you have, every concern that emerges – we’re here to answer, guide, and champion your dream of family unity. Ready to embark on this journey with experts by your side? Let’s connect for a comprehensive consultation today


The materials available on this website are for informational and entertainment purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.  You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments.  No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

Phoenix Location

7319 North 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020 | 602-870-9700

Mesa Location

1630 S. Stapley Drive, Suite 212, Mesa, AZ 85204 | 480-985-4000


Share This