How To Sponsor A Family Member To The US

Family Immigration Process

Sponsoring a relative to the US can be a lengthy process, but with the proper assistance, it can be a rewarding experience. Before you begin, you must first determine whether or not your family member is eligible to come to the US.

Which Relatives Can Be Sponsored To Come To The United States?

Immediate Relatives: 

  •  Spouses of citizens.
  •  Unmarried sons and daughters under the age of 21
  •  Parents of citizens over 21 years old.

Immediate relatives are eligible for green cards without visa availability restrictions or numerical limits. 

Family Preference: 

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who are 21 years old or older.
  • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Siblings of adult U.S. citizens.

These applications are subject to availability and take a long time to process; There is a quota for persons applying as a preference relative, which implies that you may have to wait years for your Green Card.

Who Is Eligible To Be A Sponsor?

  • U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Primary Resident In The United States
  • You must demonstrate that the person you are trying to sponsor is related to you in one of the allowed categories.
  • A minimum income of 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines is required.
  • Demonstrate that you will be able to support your sponsored family member financially once they arrive in the United States.

Required Documents For US Family Sponsorship

  • Birth certificate valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of admission into the United States 
  • Passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States
  • If applicable, a marriage certificate
  • Affidavit of support.
  • Medical examination form
  • Two passport-size pictures

You may be required to translate documents not written in English.

4 Steps For US Family-Based Petitions

#1 VISA Petition:

The first step to sponsoring a family member for immigration to the United States is to file an immigrant petition on their behalf. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and your spouse is not, it’s not necessary to have your spouse in the United States to file the I-130 petition.

#2 Wait For The USCIS’s Decision

When the petition is received by USCIS (United States Citizenship And Immigration Service), authorities will decide whether to approve or refuse the request. If the petition is denied, the petitioner may file a new petition after evaluating what changes must be made to increase the chances of approval.

USCIS will transfer the immigrant’s case file to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing once it has been approved.

#3 Wait For Availability

This step applies if the sponsored family members fall into the family preference category. Relatives not considered immediate are placed on a waiting list and must wait for VISA availability. This process could take years.

#4 VISA Application Or Status Adjustment

Once the petition followed the previous steps and was approved, the next step for the immigrant is to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate outside of the United States and then apply for the Green Card while in the United States.

If you are in the United States with a legal status (such as a visitor visa, student visa, or work visa), you may be eligible to apply for “Adjustment of Status” by filing Form I-485 and receiving a Green card without having to leave the United States.

Elissa I Henry Law Firm

Locating a competent family-based immigration attorney to handle your case is critical in sponsoring a relative to the U.S.: The attorney can guide you through the whole process, explain your options, alternatives, and eligibility, and ensure that all forms are correctly filled out and filed with USCIS.

At Elissa I Henry Law Firm, we’ve helped thousands of people obtain permanent residence in the United States through family-based petitions, and we can help you too! To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a consultation.