Many U.S. citizens are able to seek permanent residency for a relative, but there are specific steps you must go through to sponsor someone to come to the United States. The good news is that there are several ways for U.S. citizens’ family members to obtain green cards, which let them come to the country, live here permanently, and seek employment.
Permanent Residency for a Relative
You can’t seek permanent residency for most of your relatives. Under U.S. immigration law, you can only help certain people get residency here. The person you wish to sponsor must be:
- Your spouse
- Your unmarried child who’s under the age of 21
- Your parents, provided that you’re 21 or older
- Your siblings, provided that you’re 21 or older
Steps to Seeking Residency for a Relative
The first thing you need to do is help your relative get an immigrant visa. You’ll have to file Form I-130 and prove your relationship with the person you want to sponsor. When you file that form, your relative gets a spot in line with others who want to immigrate from the same area.
Your relative still needs to pass the right background checks to qualify for immigration.
What if Your Relative Has a Family?
Usually, your relative’s family can apply for a visa at the same time your relative does. For example, if you marry someone who has a child from a previous relationship, you can’t apply for a visa for the child – but your spouse can when he or she applies for his or her own visa.
After Your Relative Gets a Visa
Once your relative has a visa, he or she can complete a Form I-485 to register for permanent residence. He or she will have to submit paperwork (such as a birth certificate, proof of his or her relationship to you, and more) to the U.S. government as part of the process. This process is called an adjustment of status.
Immigration and Getting Permanent Residency for a Relative Can Be Complicated
U.S. immigration laws can be extremely complicated, and you may decide that you want to work with a Milwaukee immigration attorney to ensure you’ve covered all the bases. We can help you, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. Call us at 414-383-6700 to set up your consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer now.