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Bringing a family member to the USA: 5 Things to consider

Bringing a loved one to join you in the U.S. as a citizen or permanent resident is not always an easy task. A family immigration attorney can help you navigate the often confusing application process. Be prepared to discuss and document the following criteria.

1. What is your own immigration status?

Your own immigration status plays a part in which family members you can petition to bring to the U.S. You will need to specify whether you are a U. S. citizen, a holder of a green card (also known as a "permanent resident"), or someone granted refugee or asylee status within the past two years.

2. Who is the family member?

In general, U.S. citizens can petition for spouses, fiancés, parents, children of any age or marital status, stepchildren under 21, and siblings. Permanent residents and refugees have a narrower range of family members for whom they can petition. Depending on your own status and the person's relationship to you, each family member will be assigned a different priority rank.

3. What is your family member's country of origin?

Where your family member is coming from may impact how quickly the application is processed. You may need to be able to prove their country of birth, their nationality (if different from country of birth) and the country in which they are currently living.

4. Is the family member currently visiting the U.S.?

Whether or not the family member is currently on U.S. soil may influence how you should go about petitioning for a status change. Those already in the U.S. generally fill out a form to request a status change. For those who are waiting abroad, you'll likely apply to the National Visa Center, which then sends the petition to the U.S. consulate where your family member is.

5. What kind of documentation does your family member have?

If your family member is currently in the U.S. illegally, or if you are having trouble gathering the proper documentation necessary for a petition to bring (or keep) them here, you'll need to be honest with your family immigration legal team about any issues. These might include a criminal record, past immigration infractions or a current illegal stay.

The best way to fully understand the requirements for family immigration is to speak with a skilled attorney. We invite you to contact the team at Ramos Immigration Law to take the first step toward bringing your loved one to the United States.

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