How To Sponsor Family to the USA
Did you know that if you are a United States citizen or green card holder (lawful permanent resident of the United States), they can sponsor you or their other family members to the US?
Spousal Sponsorship in the USA
In order to sponsor someone to the United States, the sponsor must be either a United States citizen or a green card holder. They must also prove to the United States government that they can support you financially when you are in the US, because they are responsible for you.
These applications take very long to process, especially if the sponsor is only a permanent resident and NOT a US citizen.
Which Family Members Can Be Sponsored to the US
If you qualify to sponsor family members to the USA you will most likely be allowed to only sponsor immediate relatives. Although the common meaning of this is a close family relation, it has a more specific meaning in immigration law. Immediate relatives are a category of prospective immigrants who include a U.S. citizen’s spouse, minor children (under the age of 21), and parents (so long as the citizen is at least 21 years old). Immediate relatives have an immediate right to apply for U.S. permanent residence (assuming their U.S. family member agrees to start the process on their behalf) — unlike more distant relatives, they aren’t subject to yearly limits on the numbers who can apply for permanent residence.
Immediate relatives can get green cards without worrying about visa-availability waiting periods or numerical limits. (There will be a wait of many months, however, while USCIS and then the State Department actually process the applications.)Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents-in-law, and other extended family members are not included in immediate relatives.
You may be able to sponsor preference relatives beyond immediate relatives. An immigration term for certain people who may be eligible for U.S. permanent residence (a “green card”) based on family relationships. Preference relatives include the married children of U.S. citizens, children over 21 of U.S. citizens, the spouses or children of U.S. green card holders, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens where the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old. Preference relatives must usually wait to get a green card, because only around 480,000 are available to them in total each year. They must wait in line based on their priority date, which is the date when their U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner first filed a visa petition indicating willingness to sponsor the immigrant.
Preference relatives typically have to wait between for some number of years before being allowed to apply for their visa or green card.
How to Apply to Sponsor Family to the USA
There are to ways of applying to immigrate to the USA depending on where you are right at the time of the application.
1. Consular Processing:
If you are outside of the United States and remain outside of the United States, you could apply at your local American consulate where the application would then be forwarded to the US consulate for your sponsoring spouse.
2. Adjustment of Status:
If you are inside of the United States with a legal status (such as being on a visitor visa, study visa or work visa) and then marry an American citizen, you can apply to adjust your status so you are allowed to remain in the United States while the spousal sponsorship application is being processed.
Why Legal Help for Family Sponsorship is Important
Although the concept of family sponsorship seems straightforward, there are many exceptions and details of which to be aware. Instead of risking having your efforts rejected due to a missing detail on a document or an ineligible scenario, we recommend consulting with an experienced legal attorney who knows how to properly prepare successful family sponsorship applications.
Why Hire Us to Assist Your Family Sponsorship Case?
Since there are a limited amount of visas available under the Family Preference category, getting the application right the first time is vital. Even though there are unlimited visas available for immediate relatives, an application needs to be prepared properly. We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully get U.S. permanent residence through family-based petitions, and we can help you too!
The first step towards a successful family sponsorship application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.
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