Family Immigration is one basis for foreign citizens to immigrate legally to the United States. In the past few decades, immigrants have, on average, sponsored 3.5 relatives and their immigration into the country.
To legally immigrate to the United States, U.S. citizens may file a petition for an immigrant visa, otherwise known as a green card, for their spouses, children, parents, and siblings. Additionally, lawful permanent residents, or immigrants living permanently in the country without being citizens, may file a petition for a green card for spouses and unmarried children.
Learn more about your options from a family immigration lawyer in Naperville today.
A foreign national hoping to permanently live in the United States with a green card must be sponsored by an immediate relative who is at least 21 years old and a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
Two types of family-based immigration visas can be obtained:
Immediate Relatives: This visa is based on a close family relationship with a United States citizen. There is no limit each fiscal year to how many immigrant visas are provided to foreign nationals who meet the requirements. Immediate relatives to whom this visa applies includes:
Family Preference: This visa is available to more distant relatives who have a family relationship with a United States citizen, and, in some cases, close relatives of lawful permanent residents. The number of these visas provided each fiscal year is capped, which can result in a backlog and a long wait. Relatives who qualify for this visa include:
The Petitioner, or the immigrant sponsoring the beneficiary family member, files a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Petitioner must provide documentation proving he is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and that the beneficiary is related to him.
Additionally, later in the process, the Petitioner must provide an affidavit stating that he will be financially responsible for the potential immigrant. Lastly, the potential immigrant is required to go through extensive screening processes, including background screenings and health screenings. Upon completion of the required steps, there may or may not be a long wait time depending on the category under which the potential immigrant falls.
Immigration laws can be confusing, and a mistake in the application process can result in many years of wait time to be approved. The Naperville family immigration lawyers at Minsky McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. can provide you with guidance to ensure all requirements are met the first time. Visit our website to schedule your immigration law consultation so that you can begin the family-based green card process today.