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Family Sponsorship

Many non-U.S. citizens rely on family sponsorship as a means to secure Permanent Residency Status also called the green card in the United States. This pathway is readily available because U.S. citizens, both natural-born and those who have become nationals through naturalization, enjoy the benefit of sponsoring close relatives for residency status within this process. A skilled immigration lawyer specializing in family cases can offer invaluable support throughout this complex procedure, significantly boosting your likelihood of success.

Who Can Be Sponsored by a U.S. Citizen?

U.S. citizens can sponsor a wide range of relatives. The list of eligible relatives includes:

  1. Immediate Relatives: This category encompasses those with the closest family ties and generally enjoys faster processing times. It includes:
    1. Spouses: U.S. citizens can sponsor their legal spouse, regardless of their spouse’s immigration status.
    2. Unmarried Children (Under 21): The child (unmarried biological children, adopted children, or stepchildren) must be unmarried at the time of filing the petition.
  2. Parents: U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old can sponsor their biological or adoptive parents. It’s important to note that this category typically faces longer processing times due to visa availability limitations.
  3. Other Relatives (Subject to Limitations): U.S. citizens can also sponsor other relatives but with some restrictions:
    1. Married Children: U.S. citizens can sponsor their married children of any age. However, this category is subject to visa availability limitations, which can lead to significant wait times.
    2. Siblings: Only U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old can sponsor their siblings. Additionally, the sponsoring citizen must demonstrate sufficient income to support not only themselves but also their sibling and their sibling’s immediate family.

 Important Considerations

  • Age Requirements: The age limitations mentioned above apply to the relative being sponsored at the time the petition is filed.
  • Form I-130: U.S citizens initiate the sponsorship process by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with USCIS on behalf of the eligible relative.
  • Concurrent Filing: In some cases, depending on the category and visa availability, it may be possible to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, concurrently with Form I-130.

Understanding these eligibility requirements is a crucial first step in determining if family sponsorship is a viable option for you.

Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can provide further guidance on your specific situation and the best course of action for sponsoring your loved ones.

Who Can Be Sponsored by a Permanent Resident?

Permanent residents, also known as green card holders, can also sponsor family members for a green card, but the list is more limited compared to U.S. citizens. Permanent residents can only sponsor:

  1. Spouses: Permanent residents can sponsor their spouses for a green card.
  2. Unmarried Children: Permanent residents can sponsor their unmarried children, regardless of age.

The Process to Sponsor a Family Member

The process of sponsoring a family member for a green card involves several steps:

  1. File an Immigrant Visa Petition: The family sponsor must complete an immigrant visa petition, known as a Petition for Alien Relatives (Form I-130).
  2. Approval by USCIS: Once the I-130 petition is approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) must be filled out and submitted. In some cases, the I-485 can be submitted concurrently with the I-130.
  3. Financial Support: The citizen or permanent resident sponsoring the family member must demonstrate they can financially support this relative at 125 percent above the mandated poverty line.

Common Issues with Family Sponsorship

There are several reasons why a relative may not be approved for adjustment of status:

  1. Presence in the U.S.: The relative is not currently in the U.S.
  2. Entry Method: The relative entered the U.S. without going through a port of entry.
  3. Visa Overstay: The relative overstay the visa they used to enter the U.S.

In such cases, consular processing may be required. This means the relative must apply at a U.S. consulate or embassy in a country other than the U.S. In some instances, a waiver may need to be applied for.

Contact CFUIS – Family Sponsorship Immigration Lawyer

If you are considering family sponsorship, our immigration lawyers at CFUIS are ready to assist you. We can guide you on how to complete the forms, when to submit them, and walk you through the entire process.

Contact us today at 813-298-7222, email us, fill out our contact form, or schedule an appointment. With CFUIS, you can be confident in our expertise and dedication to helping you navigate the complexities of family sponsorship. Let us be your trusted partner in this journey.