You have family members that reside in another country that would like to move to the United States and you want to find a way to help. Family immigration offers an opportunity to do just that.
Foreign citizens that want to live in the United States need an immigrant visa. A relative that is either a U.S. citizen or a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident must sponsor them by filing a petition on their behalf. It is not a sure thing. It is a legal process that takes time.
1. Who may qualify for family immigration?
Immediate family members and extended family members of U.S. citizens may qualify for family immigration. Immediate family members including the spouse, child, parent or sibling of the sponsor qualify for immediate relative visas. There is no limit to the number of petitions one may file for immediate relative visas each year. Those with more distant family relationships to U.S. citizens qualify for a family preference visa. The is a limit to the number of petitions one may file for this type of visa each year.
2. Can green-card holders sponsor foreign citizens for family immigration?
Residents with green-cards are U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents. They may sponsor only their spouses or their unmarried children.
3. What could cause complications for family immigration?
A record of criminal activity or previous violations of immigration laws will hinder the process for any applicant. Additionally, an applicant with an undocumented presence in the United States will run into trouble with their application for an immigrant visa.
It is important to note that obtaining a family-based immigrant visa is the start of a journey. It does not make one a citizen. A successful applicant becomes a green-card holder. Family immigration is a step towards permanent residence and citizenship in the United States.