Living in the United States when you have loved ones overseas can be challenging. In some cases, those family members may want to come to this country. You’ll have to go through the proper channels to make this happen.
Family-based immigration has some limitations. These vary based on the familial relationship and the status of the sponsor. There are two types of immigration visas for family members – immediate relatives and family preference.
Sponsors must meet qualifications
In order to sponsor a family member who wants to come to the U.S., you must meet certain qualifications. You must be at least 21 years old. You also have to be either a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. to sponsor a family member.
Family relationships must be specific
Family-based immigration programs are meant for close relatives of the sponsor. Citizens can sponsor their spouse, children, parents and siblings. Lawful permanent residents can only sponsor their spouse and children who are unmarried.
Limits might apply
There are only a predetermined number of family preference visas that can be issued each year. The number of immediate relative visas isn’t limited, so these are easier to receive than the family preference visas. U.S. citizens can sponsor people in either group; however, lawful permanent residents can only sponsor people for family preference visas.
Bringing your loved ones to the U.S. is possible in many cases. Because the policies and regulations related to immigration change often, anyone who’s considering this should ensure they work with someone familiar with the latest updates.