Helping family members immigrate to the United States can give them a chance for a new life, including marriage and opportunities for employment. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services notes that it is possible to petition for this action; however, there are several qualifications you must meet first.
If you want to assist a family member, partner or fiance with immigration, understanding your own status and how it affects your ability to petition can expedite the process and help you to better realize your own role in your loved one’s immigration.
Your own citizenship status may affect whether you can help your family member immigrate. The government defines a U.S. citizen as an individual who was born in the United States, possesses a green card as a permanent resident or holds recognized refugee status. If you are unsure of your current status while living in the U.S., you can contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for assistance.
Immigration help as a green card holder
If you have a green card and the country considers you a permanent resident, you may help certain family members immigrate to the U.S. as well. The options are slightly limited when compared to residents born in America, but you may still petition for several different individuals, including:
- Minor children
- Unmarried children of any age
If you have other family members who want to enter the country and become citizens, such as grown siblings, you may have to refer them to another relative who is already a natural citizen and can help them obtain a visa.
You may have to provide the government with proof of income before you can sponsor your relative as he or she seeks a visa. This helps ensure you can support the individual financially, such as providing housing, until the immigration process is complete.