4 Things to Know About Family Immigration

4 Things to Know About Family Immigration


Many people who have successfully obtained green cards or who have successfully become lawful permanent residents have family members that they would like to bring over to live with them in the United States. In addition, there are many US Citizens who fall in love with and marry foreign partners who would like to ensure those partners may immigrate with them.

The family-based immigration process is neither an easy thing nor a sure thing. Not every family member will be eligible for immigration and not every person can bring every family member over. Here’s what you need to know. 

#1) US Citizens Can File for Several Types of Family Members

If you are a United States citizen, even a naturalized one, you will be able to file for your spouse, child, parents, or siblings. 

Green cards are generally immediately available for spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents. Siblings and children who are older than 21 or who are married will generally have to wait as there are a limited number of visas available for those types of immigrants. 

Keep in mind that grandparents, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, and uncles are not covered under family immigration. 

#2) Green Card Holders Can File Limited Petitions

Lawful permanent residents may only file petitions for their spouses and unmarried children who are under the age of 21.  

If you want to bring over other family members you will need to focus on securing your own citizenship. Then you will be able to sponsor a wider variety of relatives.

#3) Some immigrants will be forced to immigrate through their embassies. 

You will want to check with an immigration attorney to find out what your relative’s situation is. Entering the United States at the wrong moment can cause significant snags in your immigration case.

While immigrating at an embassy is not always ideal it is the step you are going to want to take if that is required. Often embassy immigration will be required for a fiancee, for example. 

#4) You’ll want to do it in the US if you can.

If your relative is eligible to come to the United States under a different visa then what you’ll be doing is applying for an adjustment of status, which is often easier to obtain.

If your relative is already in the United States they may be able to apply for a work permit and a driver’s license while they are awaiting a decision on the I-130 petition. In addition, all the petitions may filed all at once, in one big package. 

Getting Legal Advice is the Best Way to Ensure Success

Every immigration case is different. It’s easy to get blindsided by any number of issues which could render your family member ineligible for immigration. A skilled immigration attorney can help you meet these issues head on and can sometimes find solutions for them. 

In addition, an immigration attorney can help you ensure that your application is filled out correctly the first time. This prevents delays and legal problems that could keep you and your family members separated longer. Contact the Law Office of John Hykel today to get the kind of experienced legal help you’ll need to give your family member their best chance of success. 

See also:

New Guidance from the Biden Administration Concerning Removal Proceedings

Have You Been Waiting Too Long for Your Green Card?

Tips for a Green Card Marriage Interview

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