The complexities of the American immigration system can be difficult to navigate when you are trying to bring your loved ones to the United States to be with you. If you make a mistake as you pursue what you hope to achieve, you could face a heartbreaking denial.
Therefore, it’s wise to educate yourself as to the family immigration process. We hope that this post will provide a little more insight so that you can make the decisions that are right for you and your loved ones.
Who can you sponsor as a U.S. citizen?
If you’re a citizen of the United States, you have a little more leeway in whom you can sponsor for entry into the country. You can sponsor any of the following:
- Your spouse
- Your children
- Your parents
- Your siblings
- Your fiancé
- Your fiancé’s children if under the age of 21
Of course, the type of visa that these individuals obtain may depend on the circumstances. For example, your spouse, your children, your parents and your siblings might be able to obtain a Green Card, thereby allowing them to obtain permanent residency.
However, your fiancé’s visa will only be good for approximately 90 days. If you don’t marry your fiancé by the end of that 90-day period, they and their children will be expected to leave the country.
Your spouse and children might also qualify for a K-3 or K-4 visa, which typically has an initial entry period of two years. These visas can lead to an application for a Green Card.
Who can you sponsor as a lawful permanent resident?
If you have your own Green Card, your options for family immigration are a little more limited. Here, you can only petition for your spouse and your children, as long as they aren’t married.
These individuals can then obtain a V visa, which is a nonimmigrant visa that allows you and your family members to live together while the immigration process plays out.
What if you’re a refugee?
Even those who have obtained asylum may be able to sponsor a family member for entrance into the United States. This is limited to your spouse and your unmarried child who is under the age of 21.
Applications for these individuals have to be submitted within two years of being granted asylum or refugee status. If successful, your loved one will obtain a derivative asylum status.
Obtain the documentation and information that you need
Pursuing any of these visa options can be time-consuming. Not only is the immigration system backlogged, but it can also take significant effort to obtain all of the documentation that you need to support a visa petition.
You’ll want to be as thorough and as diligent here as you can so that can better help your loved one to obtain the status that you want for them. This may mean better educating yourself about what is required for the specific type of visa that your loved one seeks.
Do you need help navigating the intricacies of immigration law?
The immigration laws in the United States are extraordinarily complex and difficult to understand. Sadly, these mere misunderstandings often lead to confusion and denied visa applications.
Don’t let that happen to you. Attorneys help clients understand and successfully navigate the legal challenges they face with family-based immigration.