Family Based Green Card: Where do I begin to Sponsor my Relative?

Based from the large quantity of applications received by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCSIS) in some countries, family based petitions have become one of the most sought after methods in bringing a relative into the United States. In certain countries like China, Philippines, and Mexico, the period of waiting could be very exhausting because the family based petitions swamping the USCIS service centers each fiscal year usually exceed the maximum limit of family members allowed in one country to immigrate to the US.

Family Based Petition

You may want to know how you, as a Green Card holder, can bring a family member to immigrate to the US through your status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Green Card, which is the Alien Resident Card given to a a lawful permanent resident, used to have green stripes until it recently turns mostly white with several subsequent alterations made to it. You probably know that the law allows you to sponsor your relative, but just don’t know where and how to start.

To begin with, here are the list of relatives you can sponsor:

  • Husband or wife
  • Unmarried Children regardless of age

Sorry, but you have to be a US citizen before you can petition for your married children. You must be able to show proofs that you have enough income and sufficient assets to support your relatives when they get to the United States. You need to include evidence of relationship at the time you submit your petition.

Start by filing the Petition for Alien Relative form. You will be mailed a copy of the confirmation saying that your petition has been received. To avoid rejection or delay, you must make sure that your petition is completely filled out and the pieces evidence are sufficient to prove your claim. Once you filed the form and established that you have a qualifying relationship with your beneficiary, your family member once approved will be given a priority date. Priority date is the other name used for having a place in line of people waiting to immigrate to the United States based on the numbers of same type of family based petitions in the country where your relative is from.

When your family member’s priority date becomes current or reaches the front line, he or she will be able to leave for the US. However when the time comes for your relative to move to the United States as an immigrant, you must fill out and submit an Affidavit of Support form, which attests that you agree to become a financial sponsor  when your relative gets to the United States. The problem arises when your means is not able to meet the minimum requirements of the law for becoming a financial sponsor. In this case you may need to have a co-sponsor.

In some cases, an unmarried child or children can subsequently join your spouse, whom you filed the original petition for, on the same visa petition provided however that the child or children is under 21 years of age. However, if your child or children became 21 years old before your spouse reaches her turn in the line, you have to file a separate individual petition for every child included in your original petition.

We are more than willing to assist you with your immigration matters if you contact us now using the form on the right side of this page.
Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

Customer Reviews

I could not have asked for more! The VisaPlace team are extremely professional, they know their stuff. They gave me great information, prepared my work visa application and then prepared me for the submission process. I was successful. Got my visa. 5 stars! I would give them 6 if I could.

Tim Willisin the last week

This is not an exaggeration!!! I was truly impressed with the way VisaPlace consultants handled my case. The consultants- Emily, Lauren, Takunda and Lisa, took their time to explain to me in great deal how they were going to approach my case and how they would handle setbacks, if any. Their professionalism and knowledge of the law were superb. The minor setback that came up was quickly addressed by the team. The team constantly kept me updated on the progress/status of my application; they quickly responded to my questions/concerns. They had predicated my permanent residency to be processed within 6 -12, and Indeed it was processed and completed within 6 months. Based on my personal experience, Emily and Lauren's team are the best! They deserve 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!

George Jakan'gayoa week ago

VisaPlace helped me sponsor my husband to become a Permanent Resident of Canada. They were extremely professional. Every step along the way was explained fully and expertly taken care of. The staff responded immediately to any questions and always handled our concerns fully, taking as much time as we needed to understand where we were at in the immigration process and what to expect next. I would recommend VisaPlace with no hesitation at all. I'm sure if we had tried to navigate the immigration process ourselves, it would have been much harder.

Shirley Corriveau2 weeks ago