You long for your family and want to bring them to the U.S. to be with you. You gained U.S. citizenship and have toiled here for a few years, diligently sending money to them in your home country.
But now it is time to reunite with your family, and you are ready. As a U.S. citizen, you can initiate the process by sponsoring relatives to immigrate here. In time, they may secure that coveted green card.
Immediate Relative and Family Preference
A family-based immigrant visa can make your reunion wishes come true. Two types exist.
The first is “Immediate Relative” and based on close family relationships of U.S. citizens. Those relationships include spouse, child and parent. There is no limit on the number of immigrants for these categories in a fiscal year.
The second is “Family Preference,” and these visas apply to more distant family relationships with U.S. citizens and certain specific relationships with a lawful permanent resident or green card holder. Another key difference is that certain limits apply each year to the number of immigrants in these categories.
Spouses, children and parents
A U.S. citizen may sponsor:
- A spouse
- Children (unmarried and under 21)
- Sons and daughters who are married and/or 21 and older
Legal permanent residents or green card holders also may petition for some family members to immigrate as permanent residents. The rules are different for this group, though. Green card holders may only sponsor a spouse, unmarried children under 21 and unmarried children of any age.
A wait well worth it
It may take some patience. However, in time, you will see members of your family again. It has been a long wait and waiting a little bit longer will be worth it.