Family-based immigration allows certain foreign citizens to lawfully immigrate to the United States via sponsorship by a family member who is a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. A Lawful Permanent Resident is a foreign national who is lawfully and permanently living in the United States without citizenship.
The United States permits its citizens to file a petition for an immigrant visa, or Green Card, for spouses, children, parents, and siblings. The types of family members for which a Lawful Permanent Resident may file a petition are even more limited. To discuss your specific options, speak with a family immigration lawyer in Elgin today.
When a foreign national seeks entry into the United States, he must do so with the sponsorship of a qualifying relative who is a United States Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. If the sponsoring family member is a United States citizen, he or she may file a petition for a family member who is an immediate relative. Immediate relatives who qualify under this category include unmarried children of the citizen who are less than 21 years of age, parents of the U.S. citizen where the citizen is at least 21 years old, and foreign children who have been or will be adopted by a citizen.
Additionally, a United States citizen may be permitted to file a petition for and sponsor some extended family members. This includes unmarried children of the citizen who are over 21 years of age, siblings of the citizen, and married children of the citizen. However, because the number of these visas provided each year is limited, there may be a long wait to acquire the Green Card.
Lawful Permanent Residents may also file a petition to acquire a Green Card for certain family members. Like the visas available to extended family members of citizens, the visas available to family members of Lawful Permanent Residents are capped and, as a result, wait times are long. Family members that are eligible for a Green Card in this category include spouses and unmarried children of Lawful Permanent Residents.
The first step in acquiring a family-based Green Card is the filing of Form I-130 by the sponsoring family member. The sponsor will file the Form I-130 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and will be required to submit proof showing that he is related to the person for whom he is filing the petition. Additionally, the sponsor must submit documentation that shows he is a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. Once the petition and all supporting documents have been submitted, the foreign national seeking a Green Card will be required to go through background and medical screenings.
If you have questions related to which family members you may sponsor in their endeavor to acquire a Green Card, an immigration law attorney can help. The family immigration lawyers in Elgin at Minsky McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. can assist you in filing the required documents and guide you throughout the Green Card Application process. Visit our website to schedule your immigration law consultation today.