CNS News 
Jan 11, 2011
Foreign nationals with family ties to American citizens and green-card holders accounted for about two-thirds (748,000) of the total 1.1 million individuals who were granted legal permanent residency status by the U.S. government in 2009, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The number of foreign nationals who became legal permanent residents (LPRs) of the U.S. in 2009 as a result of family ties (66 percent) outpaced those who became LPRs on the basis of employment skills (13 percent) and humanitarian reasons (17 percent), the CBO revealed in a December 2010 report  entitled, Immigration Policy in the United States: An Update.
“People granted permanent admission to the United States are formally classified as legal permanent residents and given a green card,” noted the CBO. “LPRs are eligible to live and work in the United States, own property, and join the armed forces; eventually, they may apply for U.S. citizenship.”
An individual who becomes an LPR or U.S. citizen can then sponsor the admittance of immediate family members into the U.S.