REUNITING FAMILIES IN THE U.S.
One of the most common ways of immigrating to the United States is known as "family-based immigration." If you have a family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is willing to sponsor you, this option may be right for your situation.
First, your relative must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf. This immigrant visa petition must then be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your sponsor must also be willing and able to financially support you, and they must demonstrate that by filling out an Affidavit of Support. After completing these steps, you are free to apply for your immigrant visa.
Contact Gardner Gordon for all of your family-based immigration questions regarding:
Adjustment of status
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions, and more
Am I Eligible to Apply for Family-Based Immigration?
A U.S. citizen may apply to sponsor "immediate relatives." Parents, husbands, wives, and children of U.S. citizens (under the age of 21) are considered “immediate relatives.”
Other relatives may be eligible but must wait for a green card to become available. Their place in line is determined by their relationship to the U.S. citizen and what preference category they are assigned. For example, unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are over 21 fall into the "first preference" category.
Lawful permanent residents — green card holders — can also sponsor their spouses, children (under 21), and unmarried children (over 21). They are not, however, considered to be “immediate relatives” and must also wait in line.