Family-based immigration and the steps to reunite with loved ones

For several years, you have diligently worked in the U.S., transferring some of your hard-earned money to loved ones in your home country. You want to take care of them from 2,000 miles afar. In your mind, though, this has gone on long enough. You want to be with your family.

You miss your family, and reuniting with them remains a priority. But how do you do that? As a licensed permanent resident and green card holder you can sponsor relatives to immigrate to the U.S. in hopes of eventually securing a green card.

What family members are eligible?

Not just anyone can sponsor someone for family-based immigration visas. To qualify in doing so, you must either have U.S. citizenship or hold a green card as a legal permanent resident.

Another important factor to understand is that the U.S. only issues a small number of family-based immigrant visas to relatives who maintain close relationships with you. As a result, you can expect long waits that may even take several years in obtaining a visa. And as family members wait, they face detailed background and security checks.

Which family members may apply for a visa? Only a select few may do so, and they include your:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Fiancé
  • Stepchildren (An established relationship with them must have occurred before they turned 18.)
  • Siblings and your siblings’ spouse and children (You must be a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old to bring over a sibling.)

It may take a great amount of patience and work to see your family again in your attempts to help them secure a visa and, eventually, legal permanent residency. Having a legal ally on your side may provide the advantage that you need.

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