happy family in room

If you are a United States citizen, you may want to do everything in your power to help your family members obtain citizenship. As such, it’s necessary to understand the steps to do so and which family members are eligible for sponsorship for permanent residency, commonly called a green card. However, it’s essential to connect with a New York City family immigration lawyer to help you through this process. The following blog explores eligibility and the steps if you want to sponsor a family member.

Who Is Eligible for Family Immigrant Visas?

Before you can sponsor a relative, you must understand who qualifies for sponsorship and how many visas are available.

If your loved one is an immediate relative, like a spouse, unmarried child under 21, or parent, there are always visas available. The United States provides an unlimited amount for immediate family members. However, if the person you want to sponsor is a cousin, brother, or married adult child, there are only a limited number of visas available per year. As such, they are not guaranteed entry.

Generally, as a citizen, you can petition for a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. If you are a lawful permanent resident, you can only petition for your spouse or unmarried child.

What Must I Do if I Want to Sponsor a Family Member?

If you want to sponsor an eligible family member, you will be required to file the appropriate forms. Generally, this is a Form I-130, which is a Petition for Alien Residence. This gives your relative a place in line with others who share the same relationship (child, spouse, mother, etc.) with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

The filing process will vary depending on whether or not your relative is in the United States. If they are not, you will file the I-130 with the USICS. If your relative is in the United States legally, you can file while they submit a Form I-485, which allows them to apply to adjust their immigrant status.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive timeline for how long this process can take.

Do I Need a New York City Immigration Lawyer to Assist?

As you can see, there are many considerations and applications that must be made and filed when you want to sponsor a family member to obtain their green card. As such, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before beginning this process.

If you make an error when filing the form or do not submit all necessary information, the petition can be denied. This can be frustrating, as it delays the process of your loved one receiving residency. Instead, working with an attorney can help ensure the documents are completed fully and are legally valid. This helps prevent unnecessary delays or denials.

When you need immigration assistance, the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis can help. We understand how complex this process can be, so we’re committed to doing everything possible to help those seeking entry into the United States achieve their goal. Contact our firm today to discuss the details of your case with a member of our dedicated legal team.