Green Card Through Family Relations
Not everyone who wants a green card can get one immediately. Whether the immigrant is eligible to apply for a green card, i.e. to adjust status to that of a permanent resident, without having to return to his home country depends on the mode of his entry and/or his criminal history and some other factors.
How long an immigrant has to wait for a green card depends on the priority date, preference category, and usually the country of birth. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets the number of immigrant visas that may be issued to individuals seeking permanent resident status (a green card) each year. Thus, some immigrants may need to wait until the immigrant visa becomes available.