If So, Who Can I Sponsor? How Do I Do That?
You’ve left your native land for more opportunities in the United States, but you’ve left loved ones behind. Can you sponsor them be become permanent legal residents of the United States? If so, who can you sponsor and how do you do that?
Can You Sponsor a Family Member for Immigration into the United States?
Yes. As you already know, any foreign citizen who wishes to reside permanently in the United States must have an immigrant visa. A person can be sponsored for a visa by certain family members, though anyone who wants to sponsor a family member must meet the following criteria:
- The sponsor must be at least 21 years old
- The sponsor must either be an American citizen or possess a green card as a lawful permanent resident
The Two Different Types of Family-Based Visas
There are two different paths for obtaining an immigration visa through a family member:
- The sponsor may be a close family member of the person seeking the immigrant visa. U.S. citizens may sponsor an immigrant visa for a child, spouse, parent or sibling. A lawful permanent resident may only sponsor a spouse or unmarried child. Immigration law and regulations do not place any limits on the number of people who may annually obtain an immigrant visa through the sponsorship of a close family member.
- More distant family members may also be eligible for sponsorship under what is commonly referred to as a family preference visa. Such persons can be sponsored by a U.S. citizen, and may also be eligible in certain situations for sponsorship by a lawful permanent resident. There are, however, annual limits on the number of people who can receive an immigrant visa through a family preference.
How Do You Sponsor a Family Member for Permanent Residency?
The process of obtaining lawful permanent residency for a family member requires that you file USCIS Form I-130, also known as the Petition for Alien Relative. The form may be completed online or submitted by mail. The process will differ somewhat, depending on whether your family member is already in the United States. If your child, spouse or parent has already come to America, you will need to file Form I-485, an Application to Register Permanent Residende or Adjust Status.
If, on the other hand, your family member has not yet arrived in the United States, the process must be initiated at the local embassy in the country in which they currently reside.
Contact the Experienced Immigration Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we have extensive handling a wide range of immigration law issues for people throughout the state of Texas. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. To speak with a dedicated and knowledgeable immigration law attorney, contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.