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Getting a family member into the U.S.

| Nov 11, 2019 | Immigration Law

When you become an American citizen, you may want to consider bringing your family to live with you. However, the process for doing so may differ depending on how you got here, who you want to bring and the circumstances under which they seek to enter.

Asking admission to the U.S. for a family member may prove difficult, but it is not an impossible feat. Find out what some of the basic rules and regulations are when it comes to reuniting with those you love in your new homeland.

Who do you want to bring?

You may come from a large family, and bringing some or all of them into the U.S. may prove frustrating. Understand that immediate family members are often granted admittance sooner than others. This applies to:

  • Your spouse, as long as the marriage was legal in the country from which you came
  • Your parents, whether they adopted you or are your biological parents
  • Your children (under 21), either biological, legally adopted or stepchildren

These three groups require an application and proof of relationship. If everything is in good shape, the USCIS may grant them a visa to enter.

What about adult children? 

While the United States understands that you want to have your adult children near, they may not get admitted as quickly as those under 21 years of age. Adult children, biological or adopted, do not get the priority entry that younger children get. The application process is more akin to a naturalization process. Children who fall into this category go in the “first preference” category. The preference categories rank entrance into the U.S. after immediate family members. There is a total of four categories, and each sets out the priority for entry by relatives such as siblings, married adult children and their spouses.

If always helps to have someone knowledgeable assist you in any immigration request and ensuing paperwork. The process may not move as quickly as you would like it to, but with the help of an attorney, hopefully, you can get your family on U.S. soil sooner rather than later.